“Every community in America relies on the Postal Service to deliver vital goods and services, including life-saving medications. The Postal Service needs America’s help, and we must answer this call.”
Without emergency intervention from Congress and the presidential administration, the United States Postal Service will cease to function, two House Democrats warned this week.
“Every community in America relies on the Postal Service to deliver vital goods and services, including life-saving medications. The Postal Service needs America’s help, and we must answer this call,” said Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, chair of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Gerry Connolly, who leads the Subcommittee on Government Operations.
They made the statement after House Democrats introduced a proposal to save the USPS from imminent bankruptcy as a result of the coronavirus crisis. The Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act includes $25 billion in emergency funds, would wipe out the Postal Service’s current debt, and require it to prioritize medical deliveries.
The post is not funded by tax revenue and has already been struggling financially for years. The pandemic saw an increase in packages following stay-home and shelter-in-place orders, but brought with it a collapse in mail volume.
Additionally, 65 of 630,000 postal employees have tested positive for COVID-19.
Reps. Maloney and Connolly’s proposed measures were not included in the $2 trillion aid package deal that reached accord Wednesday. That aid package has little in the form of direct assistance to the USPS, only increasing the ability for the organization to borrow money.
Connolly railed against the exclusion, as airlines and other businesses are included in the legislation. “Somehow the Postal Service is not worthy of any financial assistance in the midst of this crisis,” Connolly said. “It’s to me an outrageous situation. We could have completely returned the Postal Service to solvency and got it started back on its feet and guaranteed continued uninterrupted service to the American people during this crisis and beyond. We’ve decided we’re going to help well-heeled industries that have connections, and we’re going to let the Postal Service hang in the wind.”
The interruption of mail service would disrupt the delivery of critical items, such as prescription drugs and mail-in ballots for the November election, and leave hundreds of thousands of postal employees out of work.