The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is at risk of collapsing by the end of September if Congress doesn’t provide emergency funding. The news came Thursday from Postmaster-General Megan Brennan, who met a private briefing to some members of Congress. Brennan explained that USPS expects to lose at least $13 billion in revenue as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which has taken a toll on the economy.
Speaking with the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Brennan explained that the global pandemic “is having a devastating effect on our business,” at a time when “America needs the Postal Service more than ever,” according to Gizmodo. The New York Times reports that the postal agency is projecting another $54 billion in losses over 10 years.
The bipartisan Postal Service Board of Governors, which was appointed by President Donald Trump, is asking Congress for $25 billion in emergency funding for USPS an additional $25 billion in grants for "shovel-ready" modernization projects, and $25 billion in unrestricted borrowing from the Treasury Department. The postal agency is reportedly in talks with the Treasury about the potential loan, Brennan said Thursday.
Although Americans are shifting their habits to online shopping amid the coronavirus pandemic as non-essential businesses close their doors, Brennan explained that the agency could see a 50 percent reduction in total mail volume by the end of June, compared with the same period last year. She added that this alone could throw regular mail delivery into doubt.
Representative Gerald E. Connolly, Democrat of Virginia, who leads the House subcommittee responsible for the Postal Service, said that the numbers "are chilling." He added that "the reaction of a lot of my colleagues — their jaws were dropping. It is one thing to say the Postal Service is suffering. It is another to hear these specifics." Connolly said Thursday that he would recommend that House leaders back the new, higher figures presented by the Postal Service.0comments
Meanwhile, Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, Democrat of New York and the chairwoman of the oversight panel, is also voicing her support. In a statement posted online, she explained he saw doing so as a matter of life and death for the agency.
"I want to commend the brave men and women of the Postal Service for all they are doing in the midst of this pandemic," the statement reads. "The Postal Service is holding on for dear life, and unless Congress and the White House provide meaningful relief in the next stimulus bill, the Postal Service could cease to exist."