As the coronavirus pandemic drags on, the pain continues to be inflicted upon the American economy with much of our lives at a standstill.
Some lawmakers are worried that the Postal Service will not survive the economic downturn left in the wake of the coronavirus. After years of suffering steady net losses, the Postal Service’s dire financial state is really being exposed as the economy temporarily slows down to combat the virus.
Seven Members of Congress sent a letter to Congressional leaders this week asking for $25 billion in “emergency funding” for the Postal Service along with some other financial relief provisions.
The letter noted that the recent coronavirus stimulus bill that was signed into law (the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act) allowed the Postal Service to borrow up to an additional $10 billion for financial assistance.
However, the lawmakers wrote in their letter that they think this is not going to cut it.
“One Postal Service estimate shows that the additional borrowing authority would enable it to operate only through the end of this summer. As the coronavirus continues to worsen, the Postal Service projects a possible 50% decline in mail volume between now and the end of the current fiscal year,” stated the letter.
Legislation was introduced previously that didn’t make it into the CARES Act that would have provided $25 billion in emergency funding for the Postal Service. The lawmakers are asking that the fourth stimulus bill that is already being discussed in Congress contain this funding.
They also want to see forgiveness of debt the Postal Service owes the government as well as the following:
- Authorization of appropriations of up to $250 million per year to cover unfunded mandates, including the cost of paid parental and family leave;
- A requirement that postal employees enroll in Medicare, which would provide significant long-term reductions in retiree health care costs; and
- Allowing the Postal Service to conduct more non-postal business, particularly with state and local governments.
A copy of the letter is included below.