Updated: The USPS’s Financial Condition: Overview and Issues for Congress

The Congressional Research Service has updated its report “The U.S. Postal Service’s Financial Condition:Overview and Issues for Congress” to reflect the most recent financial results and legislative proposals. From the report’s summary:

This report provides an overview of the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS’s) financial condition,legislation enacted to alleviate the USPS’s financial challenges, and possible issues for the 112th Congress. It also includes a side-by-side comparison of two of the postal reform bills, H.R. 2309and S. 1789.

Since 1971, the USPS has been a self-supporting government agency that covers its operatingcosts with revenues generated through the sales of postage and related products and services.

In recent years, the USPS has experienced significant financial challenges. After running modest profits from FY2004 through FY2006, the USPS lost $25.4 billion between FY2007 and FY2011.Were it not for congressional action, the USPS would have lost an additional $9.5 billion.

A number of ideas have been advanced that would attempt to improve the USPS’s financialcondition in the short term so that it might continue as a self-funding government agency. All of these reforms would require Congress to amend current postal law. The ideas include (1)increasing the USPS’s revenues by altering postage rates and increasing its offering of nonpostalrates and services; and (2) reducing the USPS’s expenses by a number of means, such asrecalculating the USPS’s retiree health care and pension obligations and payments, closing postalfacilities, and reducing mail delivery to less than six days per week.

This report will be updated after the USPS releases its quarterly financial results in early February2012, and in the interim should there be any significant developments.

CRS Report on USPS Finances 01-2012

  • jo

    The financial condition of the postal service should not be discussed without bringing out the fact that there are still too many in management with much too much downtime.This is because over the years too many suspect jobs were given to “friends”and when the current crisis hit the house of cards fell and the chickens came home to roost.If the public and the congress doesn’t know this then the workers will bear the unfair brunt of any cuts and reforms.

  • unforgiven

    jo, this doesn’t have anything to do with management. congress has stolen us blind and just the excerpts shown from this so-called report, show the lack of neutrality and the bias and lies contained within. USPS did not lose $25.4 billion nor did congress save us $9.5 billion. Congress extorted over $21 billion in a so-called retiree healthcare payment plan, which was nothing more than a way to less the size of the federal deficit. Then comes the issue of the USPS overfunding FERS and CSRS. So Jo, get your head out of the sand and worry about the real enemy, it’s congress, not your idiot supervisor and his cronies, they have just as much at stake here as we do.

  • repayment in 10 years!

    my gut feeling says congress is trying to do something it should not do, reason
    1.CBO report biased ..saying a 6 billion defeceit
    2. so and so “research” agency( dont know what) …says but for congressional action usps would have lost 9 billion…usps acts what congress wants (for your info..so every thing is as congress!) …no specifics given though!… in actual like what “unforgiven” says… same amount of loss was taken away in the form of “prefunding”…usps in not meant to make huge profits… or huge loss! …that is what it was supposed to be built for…know this first.

  • repayment in 10 years!

    2 different “reports” which are just trying to cause a “bias” in the voting floor…….or is this lobying efforts!

  • 30 yearman

    There is also Mr. Lynch’s bill , I belive it is 1535 yet cannot get heard in the house yet it has over 235 congressmen with him.
    This is such a shame!

    I believe the cards are stacked against the Postal Service ,craft & management.

  • jopost

    Jo and Unforgiven, you are both right. Once the postal service is back on the “right track” and again provides surface at break even operational expense as mandated, if nothing is done with the top, top heavy managerial system, the postal service will still be doomed. They will run it into the ground as they have done in the last 5 years+