By Friday, a hashtag, #SaveThePostOffice, was trending nationally on Twitter. But in the middle of these high-stakes negotiations, the White House comes, and out of trillions of dollars of spending, points to the United States Postal Service and says, “Uh-uh, we’re not going to support a bailout. By the end of September, the Postal Service will be on the brink of defaulting on all its employee pension obligations, unable to borrow any more money, and only have enough cash to cover one week of operations. “They need that money in order to have the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” Trump said in an interview with Fox Business’s Maria Bartiromo. Article I, Section 8, Clause 7 of the Constitution gives Congress “the Power … To establish Post Offices and post Roads.” It requires nothing; it merely permits Congress to act if Congress so chooses. The Post Office Department issued its first postage stamps on July 1, 1847. The USPS said the pandemic will increase its net operating loss by more than $22 billion over the next 18 months and by over $54 billion over the coming years. And when you say last mile, what do you mean? It's the only government agency that's actually profitable that I can think of. It is funded by a large number of countries, philanthropic organisations, United Nations organisations etc. Democrats, for their part, have positioned themselves as protectors of the agency, joined by large retailers like Amazon and CVS that rely on the Postal Service to deliver millions of packages a year at low rates. It certainly happened in the pandemic of 1919 and the Spanish flu. So while the Post Office is privileged under U.S. law (it has a monopoly on the delivery of first-class mail, for example), it's not technically run by the government nor is it funded by taxpayers. Mnuchin wants more not only rate increases, but increases where Amazon would essentially have to pay more. So it may seem like you’re getting more packages than ever and that the Postal Service — you know, your mailman is the one person that keeps coming to your building and your door, and there’s kind of a greater awareness about it. selected a North Carolina businessman and major Republican donor to be the next postmaster general, a new report from the Government Accountability Office. And this, as much as anything else, is what has informed Trump’s view of the Postal Service. “The Postal Service relies on the sale of postal products and services to fund our operations, and these sales are plummeting as a result of the pandemic. We own the Post office and all its failure. And if the Postal Service doesn’t take this money, how much longer can it operate as it currently does? And so the Postal Service begins to put together projections that say, if these trends continue, we could be looking at a volume in mail decline by half by the middle of the summer. The Pony Express worked until it was disbanded and it did not run in the red. He’s of the opinion that Amazon is basically ripping off the Postal Service. “If the president or anyone else is seen as trying to debilitate or eliminate the Postal Service, they’ll pay a huge political price.”. And I sense that from a lot of them in the past few weeks. The Post Office was a general government department, funded by taxpayers, much like the Education Department and the military. I suppose it could just not take the money, or maybe it could wait and see whether the election changes the composition of Congress, or even the White House. Yes. The Post Office is to receive £370m of extra funding to help protect village branches and modernise the service, the Government has announced. Postal Service will run out of operational funds by the end of September unless Congress intervenes, Postmaster General Megan Brennan told members of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform in a Thursday video conference. The fight over funding the Postal Service has become a partisan battle. And so we saw in March, when Congress was racing to put together the CARES Act, its big $2 trillion relief bill to try and prop up the economy, Democrats and Republicans get kind of a handshake deal to send it $13 billion in direct funding that will help it keep operating through the summer and the fall, and hopefully weather the worst of the crisis. The Postal Service receives NO tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. Kitty Bennett contributed research. Amazon is going to have to pay much more money to the post office. President Trump, as is his prerogative, named in recent weeks a new postmaster general, not somebody that comes from within the agency, but is a Republican donor who comes from private business. With the pandemic unfolding in the heat of an election and Mr. Trump largely defining his party’s position, Democrats increasingly believe the issue could give them a political edge. See you tomorrow. Well, now, of course, we have PPE, social distancing, post offices supplying the masks, the gloves. Why won’t the White House bail out the Postal Service? Then he said, “Then the mailman brings it to my door. And last week, the board of governors announced that it had selected a North Carolina businessman and major Republican donor to be the next postmaster general, replacing a career postal employee with someone who is expected to be more sympathetic to the administration’s views. Alan Rappeport contributed reporting. The public can also rent post office boxes, obtain passport applications and purchase money orders there. So is NASA. ELI5: If the US Post Office is funded by the government, why do they charge us to ship something from them? Post office workers in the “dead letter office” in Washington around the turn of the 20th century. And so they have generally been on the side of giving the Postal Service what it asks for. Here’s how. Without a financial rescue from Congress, they have warned, an agency that normally runs without taxpayer funds could run out of cash as soon as late September, raising the specter of bankruptcy and an interruption in regular delivery for millions of Americans. Well, what I read and hear, it’s not good, that it’s crippled us to a degree. Allow for 50% prefunded pensions and watch the post office grow. This legislation mandates transparency in the service’s finances, costs, and operations, creates a modern system of rate regulation, establishes fair competition rules, and a powerful new regulator to oversee operations. I live in Advance. Attention subscribers. Sounds like the post office is not thrilled about the conditions that would be attached to it. The postage rate was based on the number of sheets in the letter and the distance it would travel. The Post Office charges us for postage and … To the Editor: Contrary to popular belief, the Post Office is not government-funded. Regardless of whether or not Democrats want them to take them or their own workforce wants them to take them, it may well be that what the president has finally succeeded in doing is putting a kind of like-minded or sympathetic leadership team in place, and that’s what it takes. Nick, is it possible that that’s exactly what the Postal Service should be doing? Sponsored by the Chinese government, Chinese Government Scholarship – University Program is a full scholarship that provides funding for international students studying full-time in China. It's the post office that's always having problems … there is nothing inevitable about this somehow destroying the private marketplace. How could this be an opportunity for the White House? And that’s what has contracted at an alarming rate. We’re constitutionally bound to go to every house every day. “We are for the public having the Postal Service meet the public interest, not some special interest.". Today, postal employees must cope with an ever-increasing avalanche of mail which, in the past decade, has quadrupled in volume. The Post Office charges us for postage and …. The Utility Cut Her Elderly Parents’ Power Anyway. Image: "ConLab" works with US government-funded iLaw to rewrite Thailand's constitution. Efforts to pass a fourth coronavirus relief bill were stalled in the Senate this week, as Democrats and Republicans argued over how much aid to include. fyi: the price of stamps goes up not bc of inflation but bc congress says it does. So I have to imagine that this pretty beloved institution is at the front of the line for any kind of bailout at a moment when Congress is handing out money to a lot of businesses across the country. Postal Workers Are Stressed And On The Front Lines Of The Coronavirus Pandemic. And so you start in kind of the early years of the new Millennium, and the trend picks up to see a decline in overall mail volume. And we do the last mile for some of our competitors, because I am in rural America. Further I would state that I think our aversion to the word socialist is archaic. And that if they’re going to be giving them a bunch of money, if they’re going to be asking taxpayers that don’t normally fund the Postal Service to be chipping in billions of dollars, they want to see some changes from it, maybe changes that look like what the White House wants along the way. Yet because the Postal Service technically operates under the executive branch, and President Donald Trump has displayed a bizarre hostility to it since taking office, it seems likely that the agency will receive some pushback. I urge my colleagues to adopt. My cousin has a pen pal in Sweden, and they write back and forth, and it transmits right away, and doesn’t cost anything. The Postal Service has been an engine of growth for the black middle class, and is one of the last strongholds of organized labor in the country, both critical constituencies for the modern Democratic Party. Derek, why do you think it is that the federal government is offering financial assistance to many private companies across the U.S. economy and not to the Postal Service? The U.S. https://t.co/5wPQvbA951. It also defines the USPS as âan independent establishment of the executive branch â¦ I mean, how is delivering the mail different now? They are making the Postal Service money. It’s a big, complex business that employs over 600,000 people. President Donald Trump said Thursday he opposes funding for the U.S. The Post Office network is to get £370m in new funding, the government has announced. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), who is on the oversight committee, painted a dire picture of the agency’s operations in a Thursday afternoon tweet. From the New York Times, I’m Michael Barbaro. Covert action. How is the USPS funded? If this new perception of the Post Office is now mainstream, that it is a âsubsidized government serviceâ rather than a quasi-private entity expected to â¦ “The Postal Service is a joke,” President Trump said recently. Add your voice! Particularly at a time when Americans stuck at home have become hyper-conscious of their dependence on the mail, public polling suggests bipartisan majorities are in favor of a rescue deal and may even punish lawmakers who stand in the way. I mean, they would say that this is about competition, and that the Postal Service has been given some unfair monopolies in certain areas, or has been allowed to keep its rates too low in a way that harmed these private businesses and needs to be changed in a way that will make the whole field more competitive. The âPost Office,â or the United States Postal Service, is owned by the United States Federal Government. And if it’s a long ways away from town out in rural America, it’s not profitable for them to go. What they can’t foresee is the financial crisis. I know I’ve read some things about us not charging enough for some of the package business, but the Postal Service is not a for-profit private company like some of the others. After rumors flared that Trump may be heading to Scotland on Jan. 19, the country’s leader says he will not be allowed in. Mr. Johnson, who had previously supported allocating funds to prop up the agency, said that data received by his staff suggested actual revenues from mid-March to mid-April were down less than 6 percent compared to the year before. And then as I grew up seeing him, same guy all through my teen years. You can even talk with people all over the world on chat lines. He perceives it as one of his biggest enemies in Washington. When I was growing up in rural Davie County — of course, then there wasn’t all the video games and computers and everything. Previously, letters were taken to a Post Office, where the postmaster would note the postage in the upper right corner. And without a major infusion either in the form of bailout from Congress or a loan coming from the Treasury Department, it would struggle to meet its obligations and put even delivering the mail in jeopardy. The previous, $2 trillion package included support for specific industries hit hard by the crisis ― namely, the aviation and cruise industries that have screeched to a halt as Americans follow stay-at-home orders in all but a few states. She could not have been more clear: The Postal Service will collapse without urgent intervention, and it will happen soon.We’ve pleaded with the White House to help. The budget status of the U.S. Americans consistently rate it their favorite federal agency, and with a work force of more than half a million scattered across the country, it employs more people than any government entity outside the military. So Mnuchin recognizes that the Postal Service is in a bad way, that it has a real financial need. By any definition of socialism that I understand, if it is paid for by the taxpayer, it is a socialist institution. and say, look, if you don’t come and bail us out right now, if you can’t help us get a infusion of billions and billions of dollars, we could be out of cash by the fall. it is funded and regulated by the government. It is classified as an “independent establishment of the executive branch of the Government of the United States” and operates independently of government control, run by its own non-political directors. So Nick, I have to imagine if that financial crisis hurts the Postal Service, that this one that’s now underway has just clobbered them. Or, I was carrying a paint stick some days ringing the doorbell, to prevent —. This is, in actuality, billions of dollars a year on top of its normal operating costs that the Postal Service needs to start setting aside, basically. As a child, he was what I knew to be the Postal Service. I really hope president Trump take a look at this and realize it's hurting business it's hurting their growth and people realize that the post office could be so much more. The U.S. Constitution does mention the postal system in a sense but doesn’t create the post office or require its funding. But the issue has not always broken down neatly along partisan lines. The sudden drop in mail volumes, our most profitable revenue stream, is steep and may never fully recover.”. The US postal service (despite quibbles by some) is a âquasi-governmental" organization. And Amazon has the money to pay the fare rate at the post office, which would be much more than they’re paying right now. Surveillance. I think all of those things are possible, but another interesting thing has happened as this whole dynamic has played out, which is that there have been some pretty significant personnel changes at the top of the Postal Service. “The Postal Service will collapse without urgent intervention, and it will happen soon,” Connolly wrote, describing his talks with Brennan. The private companies would have to deliver them if the post office wasn’t there. Post Office Counters Ltd was created as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Post Office corporation in 1986. It has more than 600,000 employees and more than $70 billion in annual revenues. The Post Office needs $25 billion in direct funding to keep going, which the Democrats included in the most recent coronavirus relief bill. It’s a very good question, and that’s very possible. The Postal Service, On The Verge Of Collapse, Is Begging For Funding. I feel like that’s something a lot of people don’t quite understand. We have recently launched a … The White House position has increasingly vocal allies in Congress. Richard Trumka, the president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., said the Postal Service’s ubiquity, particularly in rural America, means both parties have traditionally had a vested interest in maintaining its financial stability. Right, and if you weren’t there, what would happen to those packages? The Postal Service, which employs 650,000 people, is asking for $75 billion in aid from the government, and, according to The New York Times, another $14 billion to pay off debt related to a retirement benefits program ― a whopping $89 billion total. But Congress sees on the horizon an issue with this very large, relatively well-paid federal workforce hitting retirement age. One, there’s a big difference between modest changes and re-evaluating a contract to increase prices maybe 10 percent or 15 percent, I don’t know, and what President Trump is talking about. “We have to fight for the post office,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The United States Postal Service (USPS; also known as the Post Office, U.S. Mail, or Postal Service) is an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government responsible for providing postal service in the United States, including its insular areas and associated states. Everyone would feel the absence of the U.S. So this is the biggest question for the Postal Service right now, because if you have the White House on one side and Democrats on the other, it’s really congressional Republicans that could tip the outcome here one way or another, and they seem to be split in their own way. I’m not going to bail him out, I won’t give them a loan, I’m not going to do anything for them because they’re being such suckers.”. And over the years, it becomes what the founding fathers wanted it to be then, which is something that could connect the country, allow Americans to correspond with each other, do business with each other. On the other hand, there are Republicans in Congress that I think are sympathetic to that point of view, but feel like the Postal Service has been losing money for quite a long time, that its business model wasn’t working even before the pandemic. By 2009, the Government Accountability Office, Congress’s nonpartisan watchdog agency, determined that the Postal Service’s business model was no longer sustainable. In many ways, the position is a natural one for Democrats. The disease can jump up at any time. Revenues are supposed to cover the postal service's costs, but mail volume is plunging, and the USPS has been losing billions of dollars a year for more than a decade.