As members of Congress continue negotiating what will be included in the next stimulus package, one surprising topic is causing the most political contention: The United States Postal Service.
Democratic leaders are pressuring Republicans to include billions of dollars for the Postal Service in the next stimulus package. Republicans are pushing back, putting the agency’s future at risk.
The Postal Service has faced serious financial distress in recent years.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO), a nonpartisan government watchdog agency, released a report in May that the USPS lost about $78 billion between 2007 through 2019 due to declining mail volumes and increased costs, such as employee compensation and benefits, enacted by the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA).
PAEA illustrated the Postal Service as a self-sustaining agency that could rely on its own revenue, using its own revenue to function. But as profits have dropped, and paying benefits to workers and retirees became the agency’s sole responsibility, the USPS’s monstrous deficit has threatened its future.