WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the subcommittee that oversees the U.S. Postal Service and co-author of the 21st Century Postal Service Act, released the following statement reacting to the Postmaster General’s announcement that the Postal Service would seek to reduce operating hours at post offices across the country and offer retirement incentives to postal employees:
“I am glad that many of the ideas presented today by the Postmaster General track closely with those included in the Senate bill, the 21st Century Postal Service Act, which I co-authored and which passed the Senate on a bipartisan vote in April. The Postal Service’s plan gives local communities a voice in ensuring that essential postal services are preserved by allowing them to select from a menu of service options while still allowing the Postal Service to reduce costs. It also encourages eligible postal employees to retire, saving additional money for the Postal Service. This proposal allows the Postal Service to move forward with some cost saving efforts by utilizing tools it currently has access to, but the reality is that the Postal Service is forced to rely on a limited toolbox because Congress has yet to pass comprehensive, long-term reform to give the Postal Service the resources and flexibility it needs to significantly address its financial challenges.
“Stopgap, piecemeal measures like the proposal offered today only address a small part of the problem and will not keep the Postal Service from an imminent collapse. This plan does not address some serious issues that continue to drain the Postal Service’s finances every day, including its costly retiree health care payments and past overpayments to the Federal Employee Retirement System – which total nearly $11 billion. Moreover, this solution doesn’t go far enough to encourage a responsible reduction in its workforce.
“The Postal Service needs a comprehensive solution, not more tinkering around the edges. The Senate passed a comprehensive bill that would modernize the Postal Service, allowing it to right-size and become competitive in the 21st century. Now, it’s up to the House to pass a bill. We can’t wait any longer.”