Postmaster General Urges Prompt Action by CongressFebruary 19, 2013
Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe told a Senate committee that the Postal Service’s financial problems are more urgent than ever and will continue to get worse until Congress takes action to reform its business model. Testifying before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Donahoe said the Postal Service will continue to take aggressive steps to increase revenue and reduce operating expenses but needs legislative changes from Congress to help return the Postal Service to long-term financial stability.
“To preserve our mission to provide secure, reliable and affordable universal delivery service, the Postal Service needs urgent reform to its business model,” stated Donahoe. “The American people deserve a financially healthy Postal Service. We will continue to work together with Congress to achieve that goal.”
Specifically, the Postal Service is seeking legislative provisions that would:
- Require the Postal Service to sponsor its own health care plan.
- Reform the USPS business model to remove restrictions that prevent the Postal Service from responding to the demands of the marketplace, and to enable it to compete much more effectively in a dynamic business environment.
- Transition the Postal Service to a new workforce based on a redefined “employee of the future.” This would include a personal retirement contribution plan for employees joining the Postal Service after 2015—versus a defined benefit plan.
- Provide a proper calculation of its Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS) surplus based upon data specific to the postal workforce, and then allow those funds to reduce the debt of the Postal Service.
- Avoid restrictions on the announced move to a six-day package, five-day mail delivery schedule.
The Postal Service needs the help of Congress to close a $20 billion budget gap.
Below is the Postmaster General’s oral testimony before the committee. Please note that the remarks as delivered may vary from the prepared text. The full written testimony is available at: http://about.usps.com/news/testimony-speeches/welcome.htm.
“Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for calling this hearing to discuss the dire financial condition of our nation’s Postal Service, and for the opportunity to provide details of the Postal Service’s proposals to return to long-term financial stability. I am glad to be here to discuss these important issues, which are now more urgent than ever.