Lawmakers push for Postal Service solutions

In a rare weekend vote, the House passed an emergency $25 billion dollar funding bill for the U.S. Postal Service. More than two dozen Republican lawmakers joined Democrats to vote for the measure, which also halts any operational changes at the post office. Lawmakers are looking for solutions to Post Office delays during two virtual meetings.

The House Rules Committee considers new legislation to prop up the Postal Service. “We are just weeks away from the start of early voting in some states. A record number of ballots are expected to be cast by mail in the upcoming election because of the coronavirus pandemic,” Representative Jim McGovern states. “All across the country, post office boxes are being ripped out of neighborhoods, sorting machines are disappearing, and mail delivery has slowed...”

Democrats include more funding for the Postal Service in the HEROES Act, which is likely stalled until September. Republican members say that the situation is being over-stated.

According to Rep. Tom Cole,"The majority’s actions today seemed based on the concerns that the postal service is somehow in immediate danger of collapse or it somehow in danger of not being able to deliver election related mail, including ballots. Neither of these theories are accurate.”

The bill would prohibit the U.S. Postal Service from making any change to operations until the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, or until the start of next year.

However, the Post Master General, Louis DeJoy, says change is needed: “Changes must be made to ensure our sustainability for the years and decades ahead. Our business model, established by the Congress, requires us to pay our bills through our own efforts. I view it as my personal obligation to put the organization in the position to fulfill that mandate.”

The Postal Service, according to DeJoy, is likely to lose $9 billion dollars this year, unless Congress Acts. “It is vital that Congress enact reform legislation that addresses our unaffordable retirement payments,” he adds. “Most importantly Congress must allow the Postal Service to integrate our retiring health benefits program with Medicare... It also must rationalize our pension funding payments. Legislative actions have been discussed and debated for years, but no action has been taken.”

While lawmakers look for solutions, the public is reporting delays.