U.S. Congress panel to hear Postal Service officials on finances
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[February 13, 2021]
By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Top postal officials
are scheduled to testify before a U.S. congressional panel on Feb. 24,
as lawmakers consider how to repair U.S. Postal Service finances.
The hearing "will examine legislative proposals to place the Postal
Service on a more sustainable financial footing," said Representative
Carolyn Maloney, the Deocrat who chairs the committee, and top
Republican Representative James Comer.
U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a supporter of former President
Donald Trump who was named postmaster last year by the USPS board, has
agreed to testify before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, his
Ron Bloom, a former Obama administration official elected on Tuesday as
new chairman of the U.S. Postal Board of Governors, confirmed Friday
that he will also testify.
DeJoy came under heavy criticism for making service changes that delayed
deliveries, so he suspended them ahead of the 2020 presidential
election. Still, complaints of slow deliveries have continued.
"We must acknowledge that during this peak season, we fell far short of
meeting our service targets. Too many Americans were left waiting weeks
for important deliveries of mail and packages," DeJoy said Tuesday,
apologizing to customers.
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A U.S. Postal Service truck is pictured in the Manhattan borough of
New York City, New York, U.S., July 30, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
American Postal Workers Union President Mark Dimondstein, also set
to testify, said USPS will "soon introduce a 10-year plan that has
had to this date little or no input from postal workers or
USPS reported $318 million of income for the quarter ending Dec. 31,
delivering a record 1.1 billion holiday season packages, while
first-class mail revenue decreased by $177 million.
USPS has reported net losses totaling $86.7 billion from 2007
through 2020. One reason for the red ink is that Congress in 2006
passed legislation requiring USPS to pre-fund more than $120 billion
in retiree health care and pension liabilities. Labor unions have
called this requirement an unfair burden that other businesses do
DeJoy warned Tuesday USPS faces massive projected losses as it faces
declining mail volumes. He warned that unless "service, reliability,
and costs do not improve" USPS's ability to deliver to all 161
million U.S. households "will be threatened, and our relevancy
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by David Gregorio)
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