Democratic lawmakers said late Monday that the U.S. Postal Service is poised to be a casualty of the coronavirus pandemic and could collapse by summer’s end barring an infusion of billions of dollars in federal aid.
The warning came in a joint statement from House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Government Operations Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) that cited “urgent help” needed by the agency as it faces plummeting mail volume and “imminent bankruptcy.”
Maloney and Connolly pointed to measures intended to help the Postal Service contained within the House’s new coronavirus stimulus package—the Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act—which was unveiled Monday.
The bill (pdf) contains provisions that would cancel the Postal Service’s debt, allow it to borrow up to $15 billion, and inject it with $25 billion in emergency funding “for revenue forgone due to the coronavirus pandemic.”
“Based on a number of briefings and warnings this week about a critical fall-off in mail across the country, it has become clear that the Postal Service will not survive the summer without immediate help from Congress and the White House,” said Maloney and Connolly.
The critical services provided by the agency have been underscored amid the developing outbreak, with postal workers delivering ballots for recent elections and bringing medical supplies to those following public health recommendations to stay home.
“Every community in America relies on the Postal Service to deliver vital goods and services, including life-saving medications,” added Maloney and Connolly. “The Postal Service needs America’s help, and we must answer this call.”