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 begin closing select mail processing centers in an effort to save approximately $1.2 billion annually:
“Today’s announcement comes a week after the Postal Service announced that it lost a staggering $3.2 billion in the second quarter of Fiscal Year 2012. In fact, the Postal Service is hemorrhaging money at a rate of at least $25 million a day and is on track to lose far more over the course of this fiscal year. Given these dire circumstances it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Postmaster General is moving forward to reduce costs with the limited tools at his disposal, but the reality is that efforts of this scale are not enough to fundamentally fix the Postal Service’s financial problems.
“For example, today’s proposal does not address the Postal Service’s two upcoming payments of $5.5 billion for its future retiree healthcare fund, its past overpayments of $11 billion into the Federal Employee Retirement System, or the need to significantly downsize the postal workforce. Only comprehensive, long-term reform of the Postal Service can address these and other serious issues facing this American institution, and that reform can only come from Congress. The Senate has recognized that need and last month passed a comprehensive, bipartisan 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. In the three weeks since the Senate acted, the Postal Service has lost over $500,000,000 – already wiping out nearly half of the savings today’s plan would achieve annually. Clearly, the Postal Service can’t afford to wait any longer for Congress to pass a comprehensive plan. I hope that my colleagues in the House will recognize the urgency of this situation and announce when they intend to act to save the Postal Service.”