WASHINGTON – Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn), Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-Maine), Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.), and Senator Scott Brown (R-Mass.) reacted Tuesday to an announcement from the Postal Service that it lost $5.1 billion in Fiscal Year 2011. The loss would have been $10 billion without emergency Congressional intervention.
Sen. Lieberman: “This is yet more confirmation of what we already know: the Postal Service is in such deep financial trouble that mail delivery would be disrupted sometime next year unless bold action is taken. Senators Collins, Carper, Brown, and I have proposed bold reforms in our 21st Century Postal Service Act, which was approved by the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee last week. I urge my colleagues to support our bill as a last ditch effort to save this valuable national asset upon which millions of people and businesses rely every day.”
Sen. Collins: “It’s no surprise the red ink continues to flood the U.S. Postal Service. Absent action, it won’t be able to meet its payroll a year from now. The Postal Service is the linchpin of a $1.1 trillion mailing and mail-related industry that employs approximately 8.7 million Americans in fields as diverse as direct mail, printing, catalog companies, and paper manufacturing. It literally won’t survive without legislative and administrative reforms. That’s why the bipartisan bill passed by the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee represents a huge step forward toward giving the Postal Service the authority it needs to restructure, modernize, survive, and thrive. I’m hopeful that this bipartisan compromise legislation will move swiftly through the Senate.”
Sen. Carper: “I have been saying for some time now that Congress needs to come together on a plan that can save the Postal Service and protect the more than eight million jobs that rely on it. Last week, we took an important step in our effort to reform the Postal Service by passing the bipartisan 21st Century Postal Service Act (S.1789) out of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Today’s report again underscores the urgency of this situation. But while the situation is dire, it is not hopeless. That is why we need to pass this bipartisan and comprehensive bill – the only bipartisan proposal from Members in either Chamber – as soon as possible. It is my hope that Congress and the Administration can come together on this plan in order to save the Postal Service before it’s too late.”
Sen. Brown: “Combined with losses from previous years, it is clear that the Postal Service faces a significant risk of being insolvent by next year. Congress will need to act soon to address some of the major financial challenges the Postal Service is facing. The 21st Century Postal Service Act is ready to head to the floor and it’s my hope that it will be called up as soon as possible, so that we can begin to put the Postal Service on a path towards financial solvency.”