HENRICO, V.A. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger is joining fellow Members of the Virginia delegation in calling on congressional leadership to include provisions guaranteeing the solvency and continuation of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) in the next COVID-19 recovery package.
USPS projects a possible 50 percent decline in mail volume between now and the end of the current fiscal year. Without significant federal assistance investment, the agency will run out of operating funds by September.
In a letter sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Spanberger and several of her Virginia colleagues urged leaders in both parties to prioritize funding that will provide USPS with the resources it needs to maintain operations in the Commonwealth and across the country.
“Nationwide, the Postal Service provides affordable, universal delivery of mail and e-commerce packages to more than 159 million households and businesses each day,” wrote Spanberger and her colleagues in their letter to leadership. “The Postal Service undergirds a $1.4 billion mailing industry that employs 7.5 million people. Yet the Postal Service went largely ignored in previously enacted coronavirus-related legislation.”
“The Postal Service is a critical part of America’s infrastructure that deserves to be a fundamental focus of our legislative recovery efforts,” the Members continued. “We support provisions that ensure the postal service will continue operations and deliver essential goods and services to the American people. The Postal Service is more critical to our nation’s success than ever.”
The letter to congressional leadership was led by U.S. Representative Gerry Connolly (D-VA-11) and was also signed by U.S. Representatives Bobby Scott (D-VA-03), Don Beyer (D-VA-08), A. Donald McEachin (D-VA-04), Jennifer Wexton (D-VA-10), and Elaine Luria (D-VA-02).
Click here to read the letter, and the full letter text is below.
Dear Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader McCarthy, and Minority Leader Schumer,
We write as the Representatives from the Commonwealth of Virginia to commend the bipartisan efforts made to provide resources and assistance to those negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We were disappointed, however, that the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act did not include enough funding to provide the United States Postal Service (USPS) with the resources it needs to maintain operations during this unprecedented pandemic. Without significant federal investment in the Postal Service, it will run out of operating funds by September.
While 630,000 postal workers continue to deliver information and packages each day to every household in our nation, the Postal Service projects a possible 50% decline in mail volume between now and the end of the current fiscal year. This decline is directly tied to COVID-19 impacts. Such a precipitous drop would have a devastating impact on an organization already facing serious financial constraints. Unfortunately, the CARES Act only included provisions allowing Postal Service to borrow up to $10 billion. This amount is woefully less than the Postal Service needs to survive.
Virginia has nearly 17,000 Postal Service employees who pay roughly $107 million per year in federal taxes. Virginia is home to 907 Postal Service facilities, reaching every business and home in each community – urban, suburban, and rural – across the state. The Postal Service pays nearly $22 million per year to Virginia-based landlords who own the roughly 700 Postal Service-operated facilities. In short, the Postal Service is a vital component of Virginia’s economy as well as serving to tether communities together by delivering mail and packages.
Nationwide, the Postal Service provides affordable, universal delivery of mail and e-commerce packages to more than 159 million households and businesses each day. The Postal Service undergirds a $1.4 billion mailing industry that employs 7.5 million people.
Yet the Postal Service went largely ignored in previously enacted coronavirus-related legislation.
The Postal Service is a critical part of America’s infrastructure that deserves to be a fundamental focus of our legislative recovery efforts. We support provisions that ensure the postal service will continue operations and deliver essential goods and services to the American people.
The Postal Service is more critical to our nation’s success than ever.
- Currently, students across our nation rely on the Postal Service for delivery of learning packets from schools, books from nonprofit organizations, and other learning materials from private sector companies.
- According to Axios, the number of prescription drugs sent through the mail has “skyrocketed over the past few weeks.” The Postal Service made 1 billion prescription drug deliveries last year.
- Nearly 26% of citizens vote through vote-by-mail options. Without a functioning and robust Postal Service, voting-by-mail will not be an option in November.
The Postal Service has already proven its value to this nation in a time of crisis. The Postal Service will be essential in delivering COVID vaccines across our nation when they are ready for distribution. We cannot afford to lose this massive infrastructure, which serves every individual in this nation.
We look forward to working with you to take the necessary steps to ensure the solvency and continuation of our Postal Service in the next coronavirus recovery package.