Carper seeks momentum for postal reform

Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperLawmakers prep for coming wave of self-driving cars Overnight Energy: Pruitt used security detail to run errands | Dems want probe into Pruitt's Chick-fil-A dealings | Yellowstone superintendent says he was forced out Dems seek watchdog probe into Pruitt’s Chick-fil-A dealings 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 CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnMr. President, let markets help save Medicare Pension insolvency crisis only grows as Congress sits on its hands Paul Ryan should realize that federal earmarks are the currency of cronyism 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 HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampTrump announces North Dakota rally for June 27 Opioid treatment plans must include a trauma-informed approach Dems seek to leverage ObamaCare fight for midterms MORE (D-N.D.) and Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterTrump signs VA reform bill without Democratic co-author The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Primary results give both parties hopes for November GOP support growing for anti-Trump trade bill 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.