Maine’s junior U.S. Representative is joining a drive to save the U.S. Postal Service, which he said is vital for the well-being of rural residents.
Rep. Jared Golden, a Democrat, has joined with 136 House members to call for U.S.
Senate leadership to address the post office’s anticipated $22 billion in lost revenue that stems from the coronavirus pandemic.
Golden and the other representatives said in a letter that failure to preserve the postal service would risk “putting the health and safety of older Americans at risk and disenfranchising millions of voters who are unable to vote in person.”
The Postal Service’s most recent financial report for the 2019 fiscal year reveals that “shipping and packages” and “other” were the only two line items that increased in revenue over the previous year.
The U.S. Postal Service’s financial woes date back several years and have the agency saddled with billions of dollars in debt.
The bipartisan Postal Service Board of Governors, which includes three Trump appointees and two Democrats, recently voted unanimously to ask Congress for $50 billion in grants, $14 billion in debt forgiveness and $25 billion in unrestricted loans.
It’s unclear if Congress would include those requests in the next stimulus bill currently being discussed, or if Trump would approve. Without this money, Brennan said the USPS could run out of money by September.
According to Eric Katz of Government Executive, “Postal management has requested $75 billion in financial relief from Congress and additional debt forgiveness, but the need for immediate assistance remains in question. While postal management said earlier this year it would likely run out of cash by the end of September, the agency said in a financial document last month that by accessing the $10 billion loan from Treasury and prioritizing some payments over others “it expects that it will have sufficient liquidity to continue operating through at least May 2021.””