2013 January 03 - postalnews blog

Archive for January 3rd, 2013

PMG: Congressional inaction makes things worse for the USPS

The US Postal Service released the following statement from Postmaster General Pat Donahoe:

The 112th Congress adjourned without having passed postal legislation. Such legislation could quickly restore the Postal Service to profitability and put the organization on a stable, long-term financial footing. This lack of action is disappointing.

The Postal Service has worked closely with the Congress over the past two years to advance a framework for a viable business model that will allow us to quickly respond to the evolving needs of our customers. As a result of frequent communication with Congressional leaders, we have modified important parts of our five-year comprehensive business plan, including the pace of consolidation of mail processing facilities, to give Congress maximum flexibility to make needed legislative changes. Unfortunately, Congress has not enacted these changes. As we sought to provide solutions to enable legislative change, we pursued cost-reducing and revenue-generating activities. Over the past two years we have reduced head count by approximately 60,000 career employees. We have consolidated 70 of our mail processing facilities. We moved to reduce hours at many of our Post Offices. We also have worked to substantially increase our package volume along with introducing a same-day delivery service.

As we look to the coming year, we are on an unsustainable financial path. We are currently losing $25 million per day, we have defaulted on $11.1 billion in Treasury payments and exhausted our borrowing authority. The Postal Service should not have to do business this way, which has undermined the confidence of our customer base and the $800 billion mailing industry we serve. We will be discussing with our Board of Governors a range of accelerated cost cutting and revenue generating measures designed to provide us some financial breathing room.

We encourage the new 113th Congress to make postal reform an urgent priority, and to work steadily toward the quick passage of reform legislation. We will continue to work with leaders of our House and Senate oversight committees and all members of Congress to help make this happen.

What’s that old saying about “good intentions”?

Somehow I think we may be headed down the same road again this session…

 

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Dennis Ross out as postal oversight chair

Congressman Dennis Ross has lost his job as chair of the House Oversight Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and Labor Policy. The Florida Republican was one of a number of Tea Party backed freshman who had received plum assignments after the GOP took control of the House in 2010.

While there seems to be a purge of Tea Party types from some prized assignments in the 113th Congress, it’s not likely to change the direction of the postal subcommittee. The newly renamed “Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and the Census” subcommittee will be chaired by Blake Farenthold (R-TX). Farenthold, who was also elected to Congress for the first time in 2010, is, like Ross, a member of the extremist Tea Party Caucus and Republican Study Committee.

For better or worse, expect more of the same from the GOP House in the 113th Congress!