Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said this week that now is the time for Congress to act in order to enact legislative and regulatory reforms as the agency says it is strapped for cash.
DeJoy’s statement comes as Senator Joe Manchin, D-WV, said in a letter to Dejoy that USPS locations in his state are slated to close or reducing hours. Manchin said he is concerned that the postal service will be less accessible to his constituents.
“As a public service, USPS is legally required to deliver mail, to all postal addresses in all regions, at a flat rate, no matter how far it may have to travel,” Manchin said in a letter to DeJoy. “The Service’s affordability and continued accessibility are essential for rural communities, especially those with high rates of poverty. In many areas where reliable broadband is not an option, the Postal Service is their only link to medicine, Social Security checks, and family members.
In recent years, the USPS has seen a decrease in mail volume, going from 170.9 billion pieces of mail in 2010 to 142.6 billion in 2019. Meanwhile, USPS continues to operate routes six days a week.
To combat the decrease in revenue, DeJoy wants to implement reforms and cut overtime from the budget. The moves could cause delays in shipments, however.
“The Postal Service has spent the last four years unsuccessfully trying to obtain reform legislation from Congress and pricing reform from the PRC, while remaining focused on the efficiency of our operations,” DeJoy said. “Given our current situation, it is critical that the Postal Service take a fresh look at our operations and make necessary adjustments. We are highly focused on our public service mission to provide prompt, reliable, and efficient service to every person and business in this country, and to remain a part of the nation’s critical infrastructure.”
Unlike most government agencies, the USPS is statutorily self-reliant, dependent on revenue from services and not from tax funds.