Congress to weigh reforms to U.S. Postal Service over finance woes




  • In US
  • 2021-02-24 11:02:51Z
  • By Reuters

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A panel of the U.S. House of Representatives will hear testimony on Wednesday from Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and other officials as lawmakers consider significant reforms to tackle the precarious finances of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).

Delays in paychecks and other mail deliveries by USPS gained attention this summer as a record number of voters mailed in ballots to elect a new president.

DeJoy, a supporter of former President Donald Trump appointed to head the USPS last year, suspended operational changes in August after enormous criticism over postal delays. He plans to release a new 10-year strategic plan soon.

House Oversight and Government Reform chairwoman Carolyn Maloney will make the case for action on the finances of the USPS in the face of shrinking volumes of first-class mail, increased costs of employee compensation and benefit, and higher unfunded liabilities and debt.

"We need to pass meaningful reforms - and hopefully bipartisan reforms - to put the Postal Service on more sustainable financial footing for years to come," Maloney will say, according to excerpts from her office.

USPS reported net losses of $86.7 billion from 2007 through 2020. One reason is 2006 legislation that it pre-fund more than $120 billion in retiree health care and pension liabilities, a reqiurement labor unions have called an unfair burden not shared by other businesses.

Maloney has circulated draft legislation on some USPS financial issues, such as eliminating a requirement to pre-fund retiree health benefits.

It would also require postal employees to enroll in government-retiree health plan Medicare, for a saving of roughly $10 billion over ten years.

Mark Dimondstein, president of the American Postal Workers Union, will urge Congress to include an additional $15 billion "to help stabilize the Postal Service during this crisis" in a COVID-19 relief package.

His testimony, seen by Reuters, calls for another USPS "modernization grant" of $25 billion to make "long overdue" investments in a clean postal fleet, modernising postal facilities and providing electric vehicle charging stations for local post offices.

Also testifying is Joel Quadracci, chief executive of printing company Quad/Graphics.

DeJoy will testify alongside Ron Bloom, a former Obama administration official elected this month as the new chairman of the U.S. Postal Board of Governors.

In December, Congress converted into a grant a $10 billion U.S. Treasury loan that lawmakers gave to USPS in March.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Biden picks 2 Trump critics for border, immigration roles
Biden picks 2 Trump critics for border, immigration roles

President Joe Biden on Monday nominated two critics of Trump-era immigration policies for key roles at the Department of Homeland Security. The nominations ...

Biden is reportedly vetting Cindy McCain for an ambassadorship in Rome
Biden is reportedly vetting Cindy McCain for an ambassadorship in Rome
  • World
  • 2021-04-12 11:12:14Z

President Biden is preparing to nominate a slate of ambassadors, and among them will be Cindy McCain, the widow of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and a key Biden...

Monday Sunrise Briefing: Iran facility sabotaged. Are we safer?
Monday Sunrise Briefing: Iran facility sabotaged. Are we safer?
  • World
  • 2021-04-12 06:01:33Z

Good morning! Welcome to your Monday, April 12, 2021, sunrise briefing. Here are three news events - a blackout in Iran, GOP disunity, and British film...

Nevada GOP censures elections official who defended results
Nevada GOP censures elections official who defended results
  • US
  • 2021-04-11 20:09:33Z

Nevada's Republican Party voted to censure the secretary of state, accusing her of failing to fully investigate allegations of fraud in the 2020 election...

Iran reports electrical incident at Natanz nuclear site, no casualties
Iran reports electrical incident at Natanz nuclear site, no casualties

A problem with the electrical distribution grid of Iran's Natanz nuclear facility caused an incident at the site on Sunday, Iranian Press TV reported, a day ...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US