2/9/16 WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released the following statement in response to the U.S. Postal Service’s announcement of $307 million in net income for the first quarter of fiscal year 2016:
“As expected, last quarter’s numbers reflect continued growth in package delivery and show the Postal Service with higher profits than we’ve seen in a long time thanks to a strong holiday season. But behind these positive numbers lie longstanding financial burdens that threaten the Postal Service’s future. And in just two months, things will get worse when the emergency rate increase that has been keeping the Postal Service’s head above water expires. Even a 13.5 percent increase in packages is not enough to compensate for an expected $2 billion revenue loss should the temporary emergency rate increase expire in April. There is broad consensus among a large number of stakeholders, union leaders, and postal leadership that substantive legislative reforms are urgently needed to head off these expected losses. And, earlier this morning, the President called for a permanent increase in the emergency rate in his fiscal year 2017 budget request, among other reforms contained in my bipartisan legislation, iPOST. I strongly urge my colleagues in Congress to come together around significant, bipartisan reforms that can stabilize the Postal Service’s financial situation and stop the downward spiral of this American institution before it is too late.”
Last month, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs held its first hearing this Congress on the challenges and opportunities facing the U.S. Postal Service, “Laying Out the Reality of the United States Postal Service.”
The two panels of witnesses, which included Postmaster General Megan Brennan, U.S. Postal Service Inspector General David Williams, Acting Chairman Robert Taub of the Postal Regulatory Commission, and representatives from private industry, discussed the need for postal reform legislation from Congress, postal rates, service, and how the ailing Postal Service can innovate, grow revenue, and adapt to the Digital Age.
Sen. Carper introduced the Improving Postal Operations, Service, and Transparency Act of 2015 (iPOST) in September. iPOST reflects the views of a broad range of stakeholders and offers a compromise solution to the difficult issues that Congress and the Postal Service have struggled with for years. The bill includes a comprehensive package of reforms that would place the Postal Service on firm financial footing, stabilize and improve service performance, allow for the development of new products and services, and enhance transparency. The bipartisan bill is cosponsored by Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), and Susan Collins (R-Maine).