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On behalf of our activist community, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to vote NO on the Delivering for America Act, H.R. 8015. The Delivering for America Act is based on Democrats’ conspiracy theories about the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and the 2020 presidential election, prohibiting operational changes at the USPS that have already been reversed until after the election and bailing out the USPS to the tune of $25 billion.
The USPS has long faced financial problems. Even before COVID-19, mail volume had taken a nosedive, down from 213.1 billion pieces in FY 2006 to 142.6 billion in FY 2019. The USPS, which hasn’t posted a surplus since 2006, lost $8.8 billion in FY 2019 and ended FY 2019 with a deficit of nearly $75 billion. It also has unfunded obligations of $161 billion, 74 percent of which are unfunded pension and retiree health benefits. The USPS is in need of a fundamental overhaul, but Congress continues to punt on this.
Mail volume through the first three quarters of FY 2020 is 98.384 billion, down from 108.764 at the same point in the previous fiscal year. Through the first three quarters of FY 2020, the USPS has posted losses of $7.447 billion, according to its quarterly financial statements.
Section 6001 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act increased the USPS borrowing authority by $10 billion, providing access to capital from the Department of the Treasury. An agreement on the terms of the loan was only recently reached.
This loan, however, “merely postpones the impending liquidity crisis and the borrowings must be repaid in a period where cash shortages are forecasted,” according to the USPS’s statement on its most recent quarterly financial statement. Regardless, the USPS isn’t going to run out of funding before the election, considering its own financial statement notes that it has “sufficient liquidity to continue operating through at least August 2021.
The Delivering for America Act would block any operational changes at the USPS through January 31, 2021, or the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency declared by the Secretary of Health and Human Services on January 27, 2020, whichever date comes later. These proposed changes, which wouldn’t have affected the election anyway, have already been postponed by the Postmaster General. Among its many provisions, the bill would require the USPS to treat election mail as first class mail (which the USPS already does), prohibit the removal of mail collection boxes (which has been happening for years because of declining mail volume), and stop any hiring freeze from taking place.
The Delivering for America Act would also appropriate $25 billion to the USPS, with no strings attached, to remain available until spent. Again, the USPS has enough liquidity to operate through August 2021, well past the conclusion of the 2020 presidential election.
None of the provisions of the Delivering for America Act actually address the problems with the USPS, nor change its business model. They simply react to a hyperpartisan, manufactured “crisis” designed to place blame on President Trump via what amounts to a conspiracy theory, should the November election not go the way such partisans desire.
Simply, the development of smartphones and the growth of digital communications such as email and text messages and online payment systems have naturally displaced traditional mail. The USPS is operating on an antiquated business model. These changes being halted were an attempt to address that. Congress should embrace facts, not fear, and reform the USPS, not bail it out.
FreedomWorks will count the vote for the Delivering for America Act, H.R. 8015, when calculating our 2020 Congressional Scorecard and reserves the right to score any related votes or amendments, as well as to weight any votes. The scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes members of the House and Senate who consistently vote to support economic freedom and individual liberty.