Opinion: Congress is failing to help Postal Service


By Patrick Donahoe

The 112th Congress adjourned without having passed postal legislation. Such legislation could quickly restore the Postal Service to profitability and put the organization on a stable, long-term financial footing. This lack of action is disappointing.

The Postal Service has worked closely with the Congress over the past two years to advance a framework for a viable business model that will allow us to quickly respond to the evolving needs of our customers. As a result of frequent communication with Congressional leaders, we have modified important parts of our five-year comprehensive business plan, including the pace of consolidation of mail processing facilities, to give Congress maximum flexibility to make needed legislative changes.

Unfortunately, Congress has not enacted these changes.

As we sought to provide solutions to enable legislative change, we pursued cost-reducing and revenue-generating activities.

Over the past two years we have reduced head count by approximately 60,000 career employees. We have consolidated 70 of our mail processing facilities. We moved to reduce hours at many of our post offices. We also have worked to substantially increase our package volume along with introducing a same-day delivery service.

As we look to the coming year, we are on an unsustainable financial path. We are currently losing $25 million per day, we have defaulted on $11.1 billion in Treasury payments and exhausted our borrowing authority.

The Postal Service should not have to do business this way, which has undermined the confidence of our customer base and the $800 billion mailing industry we serve.

We will be discussing with our Board of Governors a range of accelerated cost cutting and revenue generating measures designed to provide us some financial breathing room.

We encourage the new 113th Congress to make postal reform an urgent priority, and to work steadily toward the quick passage of reform legislation. We will continue to work with leaders of our House and Senate oversight committees and all members of Congress to help make this happen.

Patrick Donahoe is the postmaster general.


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Comments (8)
  1. Dogula says - Posted: January 10, 2013

    And WE THE PEOPLE would like to encourage Harry Reid and his Senate to pass a budget before they next adjourn. For the first time in 4 years.
    So much easier to just keep spending our money than to actually budget it, isn’t it???

  2. Marlene says - Posted: January 10, 2013

    I worked for the USPS, I know and have lived it’s incompetance and Union thuggery.

    This “Service” should be
    1. De-unionized
    2. NOT be run by the GOV/politicians but by a proven successful private sector Business person– hmmm anyone come to mind??
    3. Staffed by coherant qualified workers that are drug and alcohol tested randomly.

    The liklyhood of the Senate actually doing something resembling work for the American people and not just continuing the backroom dealings for their special interests and political favortism, is about as likely as finding all the back taxes paid-up by Obama’s appointees!!

  3. tahoeadvocate says - Posted: January 10, 2013

    Marlene, WE THE PEOPLE were given the opportunity to clean house in November. WE failed.

  4. Lisa says - Posted: January 10, 2013

    Sure let’s privatize it (unlike any country in the world) and the when they have us over a barrel…oopsie price goes up. Mailing a letter through fedex is upwards of $4.00 to $7.00 per letter, fedex maintains because so much of its airfreight is from the USPS and their rates would explode without that business, and the USPS was forced by legislation to pre-pay 75 years of pension within 10 years. THAT is what is killing the USPS. There are some crucial things that never should be privatized and a nation’s postal system is one of them.

  5. Art says - Posted: January 10, 2013

    We did clean house. We got rid of many Tea Party wackos and President Obama was reelected. For whatever reason many peolple do not want to face this reality. The USPS provides exceptional service and should never be privitized. Their budget wows stem from Republican’s legislation under Bush to require the USPS to maintain a pension fund 10 years out. No other business in the world has this demand.

  6. Michael Thompson says - Posted: January 10, 2013

    I am still pissed I have to pay 42$ for my PO Box now.

    My Post office was fire bombed a year ago Christmas. It has still not re opened. But its getting closer. (Not sure who is to blame for that)

  7. Alex Campbell says - Posted: January 11, 2013

    Think about it ? A year ago i asked our postmaster when Halliburton was going to
    take over the US Postal Service.

  8. Dogula says - Posted: January 11, 2013

    Art, does that mean that the USPS actually has to have the money to pay the retirees it has promised to support in their old age? What a CONCEPT!! Not sure why USPS is the only agency that has to do that, but how is it a bad idea? At least you know the money will actually be there, unlike the rest of us.
    Now if only all the other retirement funds would do likewise!