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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 10, 2020 05:24 PM
From: Senator Katie J. Muth
To: All Senate members
Subject: Urging Congress to fully fund the United States Postal Service
In the near future, I will be reintroducing a resolution that urges congress to fully fund the United States Postal Service; SR382 from last session. U.S. mail delivery has been provided as a service in the United States since 1775.  Today, the Postal Service provides a vital public service that is a part of the nation's critical infrastructure. The statute that created the Postal Service begins with the following sentence: “The United States Postal Service shall be operated as a basic and fundamental service provided to the people by the Government of the United States, authorized by the Constitution, created by an Act of Congress, and supported by the people.” 39 U.S.C. §101(a).

Protected by over 200 federal laws, the US mail is the most secure and private form of communication.  People rely on the mail to pay their bills as well as to receive checks, medication, food and supplies.  They use the mail to pay property taxes and, increasingly, to vote by mail, a service the USPS has been providing since the Civil War.  

Mail carriers deliver the mail to every residential and business address six days a week, no matter the location - this provides access for rural communities that could otherwise be cut off. Currently, the USPS delivers mail to 159.9 million addresses, this number typically grows by 1 million or more each year.  It is unlikely any private carrier would be willing or able to provide this vital and necessary service at the level and cost currently provided by the Postal Service. 
The Postal Service employs over 600,000 people and is one of the largest employers of veterans in the country.  The Pew Research Center found that in 2018 USPS employed more than 100,000 military veterans who make up 16% of its workers nationally, whereas veterans account for just 5.8% of all employed Americans
Despite the importance of this service, zero tax dollars go towards funding its operation - it relies solely on revenue generated from the sale of postage, packages and supplies.  We are in danger of losing this incredibly important public service to financial collapse due to the impact of COVID-19 and mismanagement of the service at the federal level.  

Under the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, USPS was mandated to pre-fund all retiree healthcare costs for 75 years into the future.  As a result of this mandate, the USPS has been robbed of $5.6 billion dollars a year, over a span of 10 years transferring postal revenues to the US treasury.  Prior to the 2006 Act, the USPS had reliably paid their retirement benefits on time, every year.  2006 was also the last year the Postal Service reported making a profit.  Furthermore, USPS experienced a net loss of $9.2 billion in 2020, with greater losses projected for 2021. At the same time, package volume grew by nearly 1.2 pieces because of the rise of e-commerce throughout the pandemic. 

Without financial support, we will lose this essential service and we simply cannot afford to let that happen.  We must keep US mail accessible for everybody everywhere.

Please join me in this Resolution to urge Congress to fully fund and preserve the United States Postal Service, a vital and necessary institution as old as the United States Government itself.

Introduced as SR42