Postmaster General Warns Committee of Dire Consequences Without Congressional Action
Washington, D.C. (April 9, 2020)—Today, Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan provided a video briefing to Members of the Committee on Oversight and Reform and Reform on the devastating impact the coronavirus crisis has had on the finances of the Postal Service and the steps Congress and the President must take to ensure continued delivery of essential information, packages, and services.
“I want to commend the brave men and women of the Postal Service for all they are doing in the midst of this pandemic,” Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney said. “The Postal Service is holding on for dear life, and unless Congress and the White House provide meaningful relief in the next stimulus bill, the Postal Service could cease to exist.”
“The Postal Service is fighting for its survival, putting in jeopardy the careers and paychecks of its 650,000 employees—as well as the more than $1.7 trillion mailing industry that employs more than 7.5 million people,” Government Operations Subcommittee Chairman Gerald E. Connolly said. “We cannot allow the Postal Service to collapse. To do so would deepen our nation’s economic crisis and eliminate an important lifeline for individuals who rely on the Postal Service’s 1 billion deliveries of lifesaving prescription deliveries and eviscerate the very infrastructure we need to administer the upcoming elections.”
“Reminiscent of their courageous service in response to 2001 anthrax attacks, the dedicated employees of the U.S. Postal Service are serving a critical role in our nationwide pandemic relief efforts—from delivering essential medical supplies and protective equipment to facilitating voting by mail in preparation for the 2020 election,” National Security Subcommittee Chairman Stephen F. Lynch said. “As we develop additional stimulus legislation, it is imperative that we include robust funding for the Postal Service, our most trusted government institution, to ensure the continuation of vital services for the American people and protect the right of every citizen to vote in 2020.”
“Every day, the dedicated employees of the Postal Service are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure all Americans receive their mail and packages, as well as critical medical supplies that are being shipped across the country,” Committee Member Brenda L. Lawrence said. “During a Census and election year, it is imperative that we have a fully functional Postal Service to ensure Americans across the country can participate in our democracy."
Postmaster General Brennan provided the following information during the briefing:
- The Postal Service will “run out of cash this fiscal year” without help from Congress and the Administration.
- The Postal Service anticipates “a $13 billion revenue loss directly to COVID-19 this fiscal year and a $54.3 billion additional losses over ten years.”
- The bipartisan Postal Service Board of Governors—appointed by President Trump—asked Congress to provide the Postal Service with:
- a $25 billion emergency appropriations to offset coronavirus-related losses;
- a $25 billion grant to fund “shovel-ready” projects to modernize the Postal Service;
- access to $25 billion in unrestricted borrowing authority from Treasury.
The Postal Service comprises more than 31,600 retail locations and directly employs more than 650,000 people. The Postal Service undergirds a more than $1.7 trillion mailing industry that employs more than 7.5 million people.
During the meeting, Members pressed for the Board of Governors’ requests for assistance to be included in the next coronavirus legislation.