Postal workers are essential workers on the frontlines of the crisis, delivering information, packages, and service to the American people. We cannot afford to let calls for privatization and unrealistic benchmarks usurp this basic Constitutional right.
The USPS is not a private enterprise, but a service mandated in Article One of the Constitution, run by a board, which is appointed by the President. National mail delivery plays a critical role in the American economy that is too often overlooked. The Postal Service is specifically designed to provide universal delivery: from the Aleutian Islands of Alaska to Key West, and from northern Minnesota to Brownsville, TX.
During the Covid Pandemic, and in future potential crises, the right to vote in free and fair elections will likely hinge on the ability of the Postal Service to continue to serve all our communities efficiently.
The U.S.P.S. Needs Meaningful Relief
The recently enacted CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) did not provide any additional funding for the Postal Service, but only allowed it to borrow up to an additional $10 billion. This increased authority is insufficient, and may only provide enough funds to enable the USPS to operate through the end of the summer. The agency’s projected budget shortfall is due to a number of factors, including a possible 50% decline in mail volume between now and the end of the year due to Covid-19.
In contrast to the USPS, the CARES Act provided $50 billion in grants to the airline industry alone – the equivalent of more than $110,00 per employee. Nearly 26% of Americans used “vote by mail” in the 2018 mid-term elections, a number projected to significantly increase for the 2020 elections. The Postal Service is the agency that will ensure Americans have the ability to exercise their right to vote in the upcoming presidential election.
Please Ask your Legislators to Act NOW!
In the next Covid Relief bill, Congress should insist on:
- A minimum of $25 billion in direct appropriations;
- Elimination of outstanding debt owed by the USPS to the Department of
- Authorization to borrow up to $15 billion from the Treasury