Carper seeks momentum for postal reform

Sen. Tom CarperTom CarperDems blast Trump's policies at Climate March What to know about Trump's national monuments executive order Dems probe claims of religious bias in DHS 'trusted traveler' program MORE (D-Del.) on Monday latched on to a new federal report to try to spark momentum for a deal to overhaul the U.S. Postal Service after next week’s elections.

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The report, from the Government Accountability Office, confirmed what lawmakers generally already knew – that recent cost-cutting moves by the Postal Service have slowed down mail delivery.

Carper, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, has crafted a postal reform measure with Sen. Tom CoburnTom CoburnFreedom Caucus saved Paul Ryan's job: GOP has promises to keep Don't be fooled: Carper and Norton don't fight for DC Coburn: Trump's tweets aren't presidential MORE (Okla.), the panel’s top Republican. In a Monday statement, he urged his colleagues in both parties and on both sides of the Capitol to act to help USPS before the end of the year.

“These budget cuts, service changes and facility consolidations and closures have a real impact on communities across the country,” Carper said. “But, in the absence of reform, the Postal Service will be forced to continue these painful measures and others in order to keep the lights on. To create a service that Americans can rely on – a robust institution to serve generations to come - Congress must take action.”

Carper requested the GAO report with Sens. Heidi HeitkampHeidi HeitkampDems struggle with abortion litmus test Lawmakers reintroduce online sales tax bills Overnight Regulation: Senators call for 'cost-effective' regs | FCC chief unveils plans to roll back net neutrality MORE (D-N.D.) and Jon TesterJon TesterDem senator to appear with Romney: report Battle begins over Wall Street rules Dems hunt for a win in Montana special election MORE (D-Mont.), both of whom represent rural states and have expressed concerns about the slower delivery times.  

But while Carper is still pushing for postal reform action, other top lawmakers working on the issue have been more pessimistic that progress can be made this year. The bill from Carper and Coburn has also gotten a cool reaction from some key advocates for the Postal Service, including labor and businesses that frequently use the mail. 

USPS has reduced its losses in recent years, after bleeding a record $15.9 billion in fiscal 2012.