The Postal Service Emergency Assistance Act would provide USPS with up to $25 billion to cover revenue losses or operational expenses resulting from COVID-19.
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) sent a letter to Senate leadership calling for the Senate to quickly take up and pass the Postal Service Emergency Assistance Act, bipartisan legislation they introduced that would help shore up the agency’s finances to ensure it remains strong throughout the current national crisis.
The Postal Service Emergency Assistance Act would provide USPS with up to $25 billion to cover revenue losses or operational expenses resulting from COVID-19. Prior to using the funds, the Postal Service would need to certify in its quarterly and annual reports to the Postal Regulatory Commission that the funds are needed to cover COVID-19-related losses or operational expenses. Senators Collins and Feinstein’s bill would also address the borrowing authority provided in the CARES Act and require the Board of Governors to transmit to Congress a plan to ensure the long-term solvency of USPS.
“The COVID-19 public health emergency has underscored the vital role of the USPS while also posing challenges for this essential agency,” wrote Senators Collins and Feinstein. “The pandemic has contributed to declines in first-class and marketing mail volumes, while adding new costs, including for personal protective equipment and other safety measures. Even in light of increases in package volumes, the USPS estimates that COVID-19 will increase net losses and accelerate its cash crisis.”
“At this critical moment as the United States struggles to overcome a devastating public health crisis and as we gear up for a national election, the need for fast and reliable mail delivery is clear. This basic and essential service must be preserved, and it is well within Congress’ capacity to ensure this happens,” the Senators continued.
Following efforts from Senators Collins and Feinstein, USPS Postmaster General Louis DeJoy suspended operational changes, which were causing delays in mail delivery, until after the election. The Senators expect the Postmaster General to revisit and address any previous operational changes that are continuing to have adverse consequences on mail delivery, and they will continue to monitor the actions of the Postal Service closely to ensure there are no further disruptions or delays.
The Postal Service Emergency Assistance Act is supported by: the American Postal Workers Union, Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service, National Active and Retired Federal Employees, National Association of Postal Supervisors, National Postal Mail Handlers Union, National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, the Package Coalition, the PRINTING United Alliance, and United Postmasters and Managers of America.
Click HERE to read the full letter.