WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The U.S. Postal Service has been experiencing delivery delays while simultaneously facing a financial cliff after years of declining revenues.
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) said a big part of the problem is the USPS is required to fund retiree benefits 75 years in advance.
“The money sits in a treasury account, waiting to fund the health benefits of those not yet born even, when it could be used to fortify a struggling postal service,” said Connolly.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) said the solution should include Medicare integration.
“The draft bill would require current employees to enroll in Medicare when they reach 65,” said Maloney. “Retirees who are already over 65 would be given a three-month period to enroll with no penalty.”
But Rep. James Comber (R-KY) said the USPS promised greater benefits to employees and the underlining problem is with the business model.
“Demand for first-class mail has plunged and costs have stayed the same. No business could be expected to survive,” said Comer.
USPS Board of Governors Chair Ron Bloom promised lawmakers a plan is in the works to address the financial problems as well as current service delays.
“A comprehensive plan to invest in and revitalize the Postal Service, this plan is still being finalized so I am not in a position to reveal any specifics today,” said Bloom.
Democrats and Republicans agree saving the post office — which is required to deliver to every U.S. address — is vital.