WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) today sponsored S. 2051 – the Improving Postal Operations, Service, and Transparency Act of 2015 (iPOST) – to fix the serious financial challenges facing the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). As the lead Republican sponsor, Sen. Moran joins U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) who introduced the bill in September. It has been six years since the Government Accountability Office first classified the USPS’s financial condition as “high-risk,” and Kansans and individuals across rural America continue to face declining postal service quality.
“The U.S. Postal Service has long been an important part of American communication and commerce, but its deteriorating financial condition threatens its future,” Sen. Moran said. “We’ve also seen postal service quality across rural America decline as the USPS’ debts and future liabilities rise. Failure to make reforms now will cause the Postal Service’s financial crisis to worsen and increase the cost of any future fix. To protect taxpayers from the costs of a truly bankrupt Postal Service, Congress must act to put the agency on a path toward solvency. These reforms offer a serious policy framework to return the Postal Service to economic stability and preserve postal services across the country.”
S. 2051 reflects the views of a broad range of postal stakeholders and offers a solution to the difficult issues that Congress and the Postal Service have struggled with for years. The bill includes an extensive package of reforms that would steady the Postal Service’s financial footing, stabilize and improve service performance, allow for the development of new products and services, and enhance transparency.
The financial condition of the Postal Service has been in consistent decline for nearly a decade, but the 2008 economic downturn and the continuing transition to digital communications and commerce accelerated its downward spiral. The Postal Service currently owes $15 billion and faces tens of billions of dollars more in unfunded pension and health care obligations in the years to come. It ended fiscal year 2015 with a net loss of $5.1 billion and now has a net deficit totaling more than $50 billion. Cost cutting efforts have disproportionally affected rural operations, resulting in postal facility closures and reduced service quality. Without serious, long-term reform, this iconic American institution will take on more and more debt and risk federal intervention.
U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) also cosponsor S. 2051. Sen. Moran met with U.S. Postmaster General Megan Brennan on May 5, 2015, to discuss Kansans’ stories of slow or unreliable postal service and the critical importance this service has to rural communities. He also expressed concerns about degraded customer experience to PG Brennan as a result of changed collection times in an Oct. 22, 2015, letter.