“On May 17, NAPUS President Bob Rapoza submitted testimony to the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Federal Services, and International Security. NAPUS called for Congress to expeditiously enact legislation to accurately calculate USPS pension liability and permit the agency to use the surplus to pre-fund retiree health costs. This provision is included in legislative that Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) introduced that day of the hearing, the POST Act and is included in legislation introduced earlier this year by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME). As part of its testimony, NAPUS expressed concern about legislative provisions in the POST Act that could negatively impact universal postal services, including access to small town and rural Post Offices. Instead, NAPUS urged the Postal Service to exploit its retail footprint to generate revenue.”
It is important to note that the Postal Service has shed over 100,000 jobs over the past two years, including Postmaster positions, and there has been virtually no investment in capital. The postal infrastructure and vehicle fleet is deteriorating. Before the Postal Service begins to cut deeper into the bone of its services, the agency needs to prune further its bureaucracy and eliminate its still-bloated administrative overhead, which includes an oversized Area and District Office structure. Therefore, NAPUS supports section 104 of S. 353.
In this constantly transitioning digital age, the Postal Service has not done enough to design and implement a comprehensive and compelling strategy to improve relevancy, and exploit its consistently high trust level and ubiquity. NAPUS has persistently urged the Postal Service to maximize the use of its footprint and become the universal government portal, enabling citizens and businesses to access federal, state and municipal services through their local Post Office. Consequently, NAPUS supports section 301 of the POST Act and commends Chairman Carper for encouraging the Postal Service to establish partnerships with other federal agencies, as state and local governments to provide services. This type of universal governmental access compliments the Postal Service’s universal obligation, and would be especially beneficial to Americans who live or work in small towns and rural areas.
However, we are deeply concerned about statements, policies and regulations that would take the Postal Service in a completely different direction, to irrevocably contract its universal mission. Such misguided policies do irreparable harm to confidence in our postal system, and the economies of communities, large and small. For this reason, NAPUS is troubled by sections 201 and 202 of the POST Act, and urges the Chairman to revisit these provisions. Sections 201 and 202 could unfairly target rural areas and small towns for reduced postal services. Under the provisions, the Postal Service would no longer be required to provide “a maximum degree of” services to thousands of communities. In addition, the sections would eliminate the prohibition against closing a post office solely for having expenses that exceed revenue. Post offices are not simply revenue generators; they are service providers. Sections 201 and 202 cast in harm’s way more than 10,000 post offices. It is important to remind the Subcommittee that closing all rural and small post offices would only save the Postal Service about 0.7% of its operating revenue. Moreover, two successive Gallup Polls, one in 2009 and the other in 2010 record overwhelming citizen opposition to Post Office closing (88% and 86%), identifying post office shuttering as the most objectionable postal cost-cutting tactic. Post Offices remain the undisputed most valued governmental institutions in the nation.