Chairman Carper, Ranking Member Coburn Statements on USPS Default on Payment for Future Retirees

WASHINGTON – Today, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Ranking Member Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) released the following statements regarding the Postal Service’s default on its payment to the U.S. Treasury to fund its future retiree health care obligations:

Chairman Carper: “Unfortunately, today the Postal Service will yet again default on its obligations to the U.S. Treasury. Sadly, this is not the first time the Postal Service has defaulted, nor will it be the last if Congress is unable to come together to pass comprehensive reform legislation. Today’s default is another stark reminder of the Postal Service’s dire financial situation. We have sat around for too long, watching as the financial challenges facing the Postal Service grow more difficult and the potential solutions become more expensive. It has been clear to me and to others for some time that we must act to save this $1 trillion mailing industry and the over eight million jobs that depend on it. In August, Dr. Coburn and I came together to introduce bipartisan legislation that will make the necessary changes to ensure the Postal Service is competitive in an era of digital communication, and this month we held two hearings that examined our legislation and allowed stakeholders to weigh in on the bill and what the Postal Service needs to survive and thrive in the 21st century. I hope to move our bipartisan legislation swiftly through our committee and onto the Senate floor for a vote as soon as possible.”

Dr. Coburn: “Unfortunately, the Postal Service announced today that it will default on yet another retiree health benefit pre-funding payment, bringing its total defaulted payments to $16.6 billion,” said Dr. Coburn.  “These payments are designed to protect the future benefits promised to postal workers, and short-changing this fund only jeopardizes their future. It is clear the time to reform the Postal Service has come.  I am hopeful my colleagues will put the long-term best interest of the Postal Service ahead of parochial interests and will thoughtfully consider our bipartisan bill so that the Postal Service can thrive in the future.”