8News: Virginia lawmakers want House and Senate leadership to include USPS in next relief package

8News, BASIL JOHN

If the U.S. government doesn’t provide new support, some lawmakers worry the United States Postal Service could fall apart.

“There are challenges to their long term fiscal stability,” Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger said.

Spanberger is part of a group of lawmakers calling for the postal service to be included in the next coronavirus relief package.

“We need to continue to support an institution that is both historic and vitally important,” Spanberger said.

Many businesses are struggling, but Virginia Congressman Don Beyer says the postal service problems are tied to an unusual mandate from Congress.

“The U.S Congress, some 15 years ago, decided it needed to spend $5 to $6 billion a year, pre-funding healthcare and retirement benefits for people who haven’t been hired yet, and many cases for people who haven’t been born yet,” Beyer said.

Beyer and Spanberger says without help from Congress, USPS could run out of funds by September.

“We’re so dependent, not so much for the personal letters, but for the good and services that we need,” Beyer said.

“We shouldn’t be on the brinkmanship of wondering whether or not our constituents are going to be able to get their mail, like literally their mail and everything in it that’s important to them, before we address this challenge,” Spanberger said.

If postal service help makes it into the next relief package, both representatives are confident the plan will find bipartisan support.

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