Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) issued the following press release:
Washington, DC—Today Congressman Chaffetz introduced HR 5919. This bill would grant USPS Postmaster General the authority to implement up to twelve “postal holidays” per year in order to reduce USPS operating costs. The Postmaster General would select days in which delivered mail volume is historically lower than normal. By reducing the number of delivery days, USPS will be able to achieve savings by reducing work hours.
“USPS is experiencing severe financial pressures due to competition from the Internet, reduced demand due to the recession, and large unfunded liabilities for retiree healthcare,” said Chaffetz. “While my bill will help to reform its dire financial situation, there is no silver bullet that will solve the Postal Service’s financial problems. Postal holidays are one of many steps needed to reform the Postal System. I am also supporting efforts to consolidate postal facilities by replicating the successful BRAC process that was used to close surplus military facilities.”
• In past three years, USPS has lost $12 billion and is expected to lose about $7 billion this year.
• At the end of FY 2009, USPS was $10 billion in debt and is expected to reach its maximum debt limit of $15 billion in 2011.
• USPS Postmaster General John Potter has stated that USPS could lose $238 billion over the next ten years unless significant reforms are implemented.
• The USPS retiree health benefit plan was $52 billion underfunded at the end of fiscal year 2009.