Examining the Finances and Operations of the United States Postal Service During COVID-19 and Upcoming Elections, Hearing Before the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Sixteenth Congress, Second Session, August 21, 2020 [open pdf - 14MB]
This is the August 21, 2020 hearing on "Examining the Finances and Operations of the United States Postal Service curing COVID-19 and Upcoming Elections," held before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. From the opening statement of Ron Johnson: "[T]he long-term financial reality of the postal system is bleak, and it has been bleak for years. The main reason is that First-Class mail volume has declined dramatically with the advent of the Internet. Because the postal system is constrained by a host of legislative requirements, it does not have the flexibility a private sector entity would have to deal with the dramatic reduction in the demand for its products. In a perfect world, the postal system would have funded its longterm pension retiree health care liability as they were incurred. Because they did not, those unfunded liabilities now total $120 billion. Unfortunately, the 2006 postal reform bill did not ensure longterm financial viability, and in its attempt to address the unfunded liability problem it depleted the postal system of cash and arbitrarily turned long-term liabilities into short-term liabilities on its balance sheet. [...] On average, the postal system delivered 2.6 billion pieces of non-package mail per week in 2019. Because of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), the postal system's first class weekly volume was down 17 percent this year to date. Even if every voter used in mail-in balloting that would be approximately 150 million pieces of mail, or less than 6 percent of weekly volume. As long as election officials factor in normal postal delivery capabilities, and in light of the 17 percent decline in weekly volume, the postal system has more than enough excess capacity to handle mail-in balloting." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Louis DeJoy.
S. Hrg. 116-484; Senate Hearing 116-484
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