Postal manager Louis DeJoy on Tuesday announced a 10-year plan for the U.S. Postal Service that includes longer mail delivery times and reductions in working hours.
DeJoy announced in his March 11 testimony at a House Financial Services hearing that the USPS faces $ 160 billion in debt over the next 10 years.
“This is our path to financial sustainability and service excellence,” DeJoy said at a press conference Tuesday, adding that he believed the federal entity could be completely financially sufficient, but that it there was “growing concern” about its durability.
He added that the USPS lost $ 9.2 billion in 2020 alone amid the coronavirus pandemic, and its liability costs exceeded its assets by about $ 162 billion. If the USPS issues aren’t immediately resolved, the service will need a government bailout.
In this image from the video, U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifies in a virtual hearing before the Senate Government Affairs Committee on the U.S. Postal Service. (US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs via AP)
USPS hopes to break even by 2023 as part of the restructuring plan, which took eight months to put in place.
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The plan to “write off” the service’s $ 160 billion debt will include eliminating its mandate of pre-funded retiree health benefits by combining the requirement with Medicare, the Postmaster General said.
It will also likely lead to longer wait times for delivery of first class mail, higher postal rates and reduced service hours due to reduced delivery steps.
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Retail and Delivery Manager Kristin Seaver, however, explained on Tuesday that only 70% of first-class mail would be affected by longer wait times, while the majority of all other options would be affected. shipment will be delivered on time after implementation.
A new “USPS Connect” platform will aim to facilitate customer follow-up.
More than 50 House Democrats sent a letter on March 18 to President Biden, urging him to fire the six people who sit on the USPS board of governors, citing “gross mismanagement” of delays in the delivery of the mail and conflicts of interest within the entity.
“Under the tenure of this Board of Governors, the Postal Service has been abused by President Trump in an unsuccessful ploy to influence a presidential election, the Postal Service currently fails to meet its own service standards with historically high rates. low on-time delivery. , and conflicts of interest appear to be a requirement for the service, ”the group wrote.
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Republicans accused Democrats of politicizing the entity during and after the 2020 election, when mail delivery issues plagued the service as millions submitted postal ballots long before November 3.
USPS President Ron Bloom on Tuesday expressed concern that without congressional action the USPS “will continue to deteriorate and our public service mission will be threatened.”
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The 10-year plan “will give the American people the postal service we deserve,” Bloom said, adding that “Congress has a vital role to play” in its restructuring with “legislative relief.”
The president added that he hopes Congress will “fully integrate” the Postal Service’s retirement plan with Medicare.