Vital need for passage of postal reform legislation

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America deserves a financially stable United States Postal Service that can continue to play a vital role in our economy and society.  Enactment of bipartisan postal reform, H.R.756, along with a favorable resolution of the Postal Regulatory Commission’s (PRC) pricing system review and continued aggressive management actions to control costs and grow revenue will enable to the Postal Service to meet its financial obligations and continue to provide affordable, reliable, and secure delivery service to every business and home in America.

The United States Postal Service provides the nation with a vital delivery platform that enables American commerce, serves every American business and address, and binds the nation together. Our core function is to provide secure, reliable, affordable, and universal delivery of mail and packages to America’s homes and businesses in all regions, communities, neighborhoods, and households.

{mosads}The Postal Service is self-funding.  We are a $70 billion business and pay for our operations entirely through the sale of postal products and services. We do not receive tax revenues to support our business.

Our Post Offices and employees play an integral role in every American community, and we serve as a vital conduit to the national and global marketplace. We support the $1.4 trillion U.S. mailing and shipping industry which provides 7.5 million American jobs.  If we were a private sector company, the Postal Service would rank 39th in the 2016 Fortune 500.

In fiscal year 2016, the men and women of the Postal Service delivered 154 billion pieces of mail to 156 million delivery points, and operated more than 31,000 Post Offices. We serviced 43 million rural delivery points, and for much of rural America we are often the only delivery option.  We are a responsible employer that provides stable, middle-class jobs throughout the country. With 640,000 employees, we are the second largest civilian employer in the United States, and the largest civilian employer of U.S. veterans. We employ 113,000 military veterans, who comprise 18 percent of our workforce.

Despite achievements in growing revenue and improving operational efficiency, we cannot overcome systemic financial imbalances caused by statutory and other mandated constraints. Without action, our net losses will continue and our financial position will worsen — threatening our ability to meet America’s evolving mailing and shipping needs.

H.R. 756 would require our retiree health benefits program to be fully integrated with Medicare, would ensure that our long-term liabilities for our pension obligations are calculated in a more accurate and responsible manner, and would provide us with additional revenue opportunities.  These vital changes to the law will enable us to cut our costs and improve our balance sheet substantially, and will put us on a solid path to long-term financial health.

Enactment of the bill, a favorable outcome to the PRC’s pricing system review and continued aggressive management actions will allow the Postal Service to focus 100 percent of our efforts on growing and improving our vital delivery service to meet the needs of our customers and the expectations of the American public today and beyond.

Megan J. Brennan is United States Postmaster General.

The views expressed by this author are their own and are not the views of The Hill.


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