WASHINGTON- As the 113th Congress ends, Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, renewed his call for Congressional action on comprehensive postal reform and called on the incoming 114th Congress to make the issue a top priority:
“More than 200 years after its founding, the Postal Service remains an important part of our lives and economy. But it continues to face financial challenges that threaten its future. For years, the Postal Service has worked hard to compete in the age of the Internet – keeping prices as low as possible, reducing its fixed costs, and innovating where it can. But its leadership can only do so much without new authorities from Congress, and without hurting service quality. Congress needs to free the Postal Service of its financial and legislation constraints and give it the opportunity to modernize and grow through innovation.
“The Postal Reform Act of 2014, which I introduced with Dr. Tom Coburn, offered a comprehensive and bipartisan solution to the Postal Service’s financial challenges that would prevent collapse, protect millions of mailing industry jobs, and allow the institution to adapt to a digital age. Unfortunately, my colleagues and I in the Senate were not able to come to consensus in time to move forward. As a result, in the absence of reform, it’s likely that the Postal Service will shortly be forced to continue to take a number of unpopular measures on its own to cut costs. These are cuts I tried hard to prevent. But because Congress has failed to act, the Postal Service cannot afford to continue with the status quo.
“While we were not successful this Congress, we’ve made important progress. This is not the end of our effort. I am committed to working with my returning and new colleagues in Congress, the Administration, and stakeholders to build on our efforts and find a solution that works for the Postal Service, its customers and its employees, and give it the tools it needs to survive and prosper in the years to come. It won’t be an easy process, but it is something that must be done.”
Senator Carper also called on the Senate to take up the Postal Board of Governors nominees early in the 114th Congress:
“Because of Congress’ inability to come to a consensus on postal reform legislation this year, the Postal Service’s fate continues to twist in the wind. Customers and other stakeholders are now left with uncertainty about what the future holds for the Postal Service. Unfortunately, the Senate made that uncertainty even worse with our failure to consider the nominees for the Postal Board of Governors. The Senate adjourned leaving the Board of Governors without a quorum and forcing the Board to take steps to ensure it can respond in the event of emergency circumstances. It would be unacceptable to leave any business with a more than $60 billion operational budget without a functioning board, especially at a time when that business is struggling to address a number of financial challenges. Our inaction represents a failure to meet part of the Senate’s most basic responsibilities: to provide advice and consent on nominations in a thorough and timely manner and to provide agencies with the leadership they need to be successful. My Senate colleagues and I must come together and right this wrong by promptly acting on the nominees for the Postal Board of Governors as soon as possible in the 114th Congress.”