The Postal Service Needs Congressional Help
The US Postal Service is facing “the most serious threat to the institution in its over 200 year history,” according to Democratic Senator Tom Carper, who is right now steering a bill to reform the postal service through the Senate.His words, and those of other members of Congress, come in response to recent statements by the US Postal Service, in which they revealed an $8.5 billion loss for the fiscal year ending on September 30, 2010. This was more than double the $3.6 billion loss that the USPS suffered in 2009, and despite $9 billion in cost cutting – including a reduction of 105,000 full-time jobs — that the Service achieved over the past two years.Postmaster General John E. Potter has proposed a series of changes in policy to Congress including reforms that would permit the USPS leadership to set delivery schedules and routes and to close post offices without Congressional approval. Potter also requested that Congress re-write the law mandating that USPS pay an annual cost of $5 billion to re-fund future retiree health benefits.Officials say that the USPS may go bankrupt by the end of the 2011 fiscal year if Congress does not act. For its part, Representative Darrell Issa, who is set to lead the House committee that oversees postal affairs, encouraged the USPS to consider cutting additional costs.