Bernie Sanders: Congress Must Not Hobble Postal Service Rebound


BURLINGTON, Vt., Aug. 12 – With revenue rebounding, the U.S. Postal Service would have posted a profit for the past three months without an unprecedented requirement that it sink $5.5 billion a year into future retiree health care, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said today.

The latest quarterly report on Postal Service finances showed a $740 million loss, but all of that red ink would have been eliminated and a $660 million profit would have been posted had the Postal Service not been forced to sink money into a system that already has set aside enough to meet the health care needs of retirees for decades to come.

“The good news is that the Postal Service made a profit except for the unfair, onerous burden that no other company or agency is required to pay,” said Sanders. “The Postal Service has experienced financial problems and changes need to be made to bring it into the 21st century, but I am convinced that proposals to slow down mail delivery and provide less service are the wrong way to go,” Sanders added.

Sanders was referring to legislation that would hamstring the Postal Service by clearing the way to end Saturday mail service, significantly slow down delivery, close more processing plants and eliminate door-to-door deliveries.

Sanders on Feb. 13 introduced legislation, which now has 28 cosponsors, to modernize the Postal Service, save Saturday mail and repeal the crippling law responsible for at least 80 percent of the mail system’s funding woes. Similar legislation introduced in the House by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) now has 166 cosponsors.

The legislation by Sanders and DeFazio also would let the Postal Service look for innovative ways to attract more customers by taking advantage of email and Internet services, for example. A commission made up of successful business innovators, small business and labor leaders would make additional recommendations on ways the Postal Service could generate new revenue. The bill also would reinstate overnight delivery standards to speed mail delivery and prevent shutdowns of mail sorting centers. Safeguards also would be put in place to protect rural post offices.

  • Louise Martinez

    Thank you Senator Sanders for speaking the truth. We need more like you in Washington!

  • Retired Postalworker

    Senator Sanders knows best!!!!!

  • Mailmam

    Mr Sanders, while I appreciate your efforts on the behalf of my employer I do not see any way to avoid a 5 day delivery solution. The volume of mail is not present to sustain 6 days. The adjusting and readjusting on a daily basis is a constant turmoil for those in charge as well as those in the craft. We are very shorthanded and some days the mail volume is so pitifully low I struggle to have a 4 hour day in my office I know that sounds a bit contradictory but never the less it is stressful and true Going to a 5 day week would fill all the gaps, offer buy outs for some and allow for a steady stream of mail where everyone could have an 8 hour day in their own office Thank you again, but please take a second look at the 5 day solution

    • informed letter carrier

      I have plenty of mail to deliver 6 days a week

    • Miguel

      Your area may not have the mail volume, but my area does. It is a VERY RARE day when we have very light mail. Today, as an example, I had 10 trays of DPS (5700+ pcs), 9 trays of FSS (1200+ pcs flats), 36 parcels, 55 spr’s, 6 acct PLUS a split on another route. This is a typical Monday for us. I am just north of Houston Texas. With Congress about to implement sales tax on all internet purchases, it will drive many shippers to the USPS in an effort to continue competing with brick and mortar stores.

      • mailman

        And on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday you wil have 2-3 DPS trays, and 2-3 yellow tubs. I know, I work here. Five Day, All the Way!

        • RacerRay

          If volume is so poor in your area, maybe they need to just close your office entirely. Because we have no problem staying busy.

      • Mailmam

        Miguel, I had a similar day to your’s, but it was a rare day. The parcels will still be delivered on Saturdays and the splits are they a pivot to other routes? I have been with the USPS MANY years and until about 18 months ago I never would have believed 5 days was an option.I believe we need to do it to survive.

      • Tom L.

        As a mailhandler in a plant due for closure (another story) our DPS mail on Monday morning is CRAZY. If you add in Saturday mail to that the carriers will be out for another 2 to 3 hrs of overtime. pay the PTF carriers to work the sixth day.

  • Ray NJ Letter Carrier

    Mailmam, I do respect everyone’s opinion but please look at the numbers. Going to 5 delivery would decrease mail volume and chase away customers. When the PMG first suggested 5 day delivery he said it would save 2 billion dollars. Quickly he cut that forecast in half. Now the numbers suggest that 5 day would cost the USPS revenue. Why is everyone turning their heads to the fact that the prefunding issue is the main issue. The USPS would of turned a profit last quarter. Someone, like big business wants to get their hands on the USPS. As for me I say keep fighting to keep the most trusted Federal Agency alive. Again look at the real numbers.

  • mailman

    Go fry some chicken Colonel Sanders! Five Day, All the Way!

  • Michael Thielke

    Thank you for your support Mr. Sanders. Mailman you must have enough time in with the postal system if so why don’t you retire. Don’t be a self fish git. We need all the support we can get.

  • winer hater

    How bout no wed delivery and all full timers get wed sun off for the rest of their careers Mr sanders is right on mark service is our name and our job