The United States Postal Service is central to our democracy and economy; it supports our elections, delivers medications and Social Security checks to older Americans, and helps small businesses operate. That’s why, last week, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform held a hearing to discuss proposals to support and improve how the USPS operates. As a member of this Committee, I was excited to discuss how we relieve some of the Postal Service’s financial challenges and hold USPS leadership accountable for mistakes they've made that have undermined the service’s success.
The lack of adequate funding to the USPS has continuously gotten worse over the last decade, and there are two major reasons why: 1) fewer pieces of mail, and 2) unlike other agencies, the Postal Service is required by law to prefund healthcare and retirement benefits for its employees decades out. This illogical requirement has contributed to many of the operational issues facing the USPS. But don’t just take my word for it, take a look at the receipts. The Washington Post reports that nearly 75% of the Postal Service’s debt in 2019 could be attributed to this requirement. This is unsustainable.
It’s clear the USPS needs help to stay afloat. That’s why I backed legislation that would relieve some of the Postal Service’s financial burdens and demanded answers from Postmaster General DeJoy when I questioned him last week. I was disappointed by his answers, since they made clear that his new proposals are just as poorly thought through as his old ones. I also asked him what he values most about our Postal Service. He laughed at my question, which I found to be pretty upsetting coming from the person whose job it is to manage this service. There is so much to cherish about this civic treasure: the critical services it provides, the local resources it creates, and the jobs it brings to our communities.
During a recent Oversight Committee hearing, I asked Postmaster General DeJoy what he values most about the U.S. Postal Service’s work. He laughed.
As your Representative, please know that I am committed to supporting proposals that will create a sustainable future for the Postal Service. I will also continue holding government officials, like Postmaster General DeJoy, accountable to Orange County families. Finally, I will keep listening to postal workers here in Orange County to help determine the best path forward for our Postal Service.
I’m committed to learning ways I can continue helping keep the United States Postal Service up and running.
Whether it’s advocating for saving the USPS or working with my colleagues to provide concrete solutions, I will continue to work on legislation that benefits Orange County residents. To stay up to date on how I’m representing you and California’s 45th District, please follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @RepKatiePorter.
Very truly yours,
Member of Congress