San­ders Wel­comes Postal Ser­vice Rev­enue Re­bound

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS -

Wash­ing­ton, DC

Sen. Bernie San­ders (I-Vt.) last Fri­day wel­comed news that the U.S. Postal Ser­vice re­ported an op­er­at­ing profit of $600 mil­lion for the 2013 fis­cal year.

“Dur­ing the last 12 months, the Postal Ser­vice made a profit of $600 mil­lion pick­ing up and de­liv­er­ing mail and pack­ages to ev­ery house­hold and busi­ness in Amer­ica. The amaz­ing thing is that they did this without re­ceiv­ing one dime from the tax­pay­ers of this coun­try. This is great news for the Amer­i­can peo­ple and I com­mend the work­ers at the Postal Ser­vice for mak­ing this hap­pen,” San­ders said.

San­ders said the Postal Ser­vice bal­ance sheet showed a $5 bil­lion “loss” for the year only be­cause of an un­prece­dented and oner­ous re­quire­ment im­posed by Congress that it pre-fund 75 years of fu­ture re­tiree health ben­e­fits in just 10 years. “No other busi­ness or govern­ment agency is bur­dened with this man­date,” the se­na­tor said of the pay­ments to a fund that al­ready has ac­cu­mu­lated more than enough to cover the fu­ture health care costs.

San­ders on Feb. 13 in­tro­duced leg­is­la­tion, which now has 28 cospon­sors, to mod­ern­ize the Postal Ser­vice, save

Satur­day mail and re­peal the crip­pling law re­spon­si­ble for about 90 per­cent of the mail sys­tem’s fund­ing woes. Sim­i­lar leg­is­la­tion in­tro­duced in the House by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) now has 168 co-spon­sors.

“It’s time to end this out­ra­geous pre-fund­ing re­quire­ment once and for all. My leg­is­la­tion would also give the Postal Ser­vice the tools it needs to suc­ceed in the 21st cen­tury by al­low­ing it to of­fer new prod­ucts and ser­vices on the in­ter­net, ship wine and beer, and is­sue hunt­ing and fish­ing li­censes,” San­ders said.

The leg­is­la­tion by San­ders and DeFazio also would let the Postal Ser­vice look for in­no­va­tive ways to at­tract more cus­tomers by tak­ing ad­van­tage of email and In­ter­net ser­vices, for ex­am­ple. A com­mis­sion made up of suc­cess­ful busi­ness in­no­va­tors, small busi­ness and la­bor lead­ers would make ad­di­tional rec­om­men­da­tions on ways the Postal Ser­vice could gen­er­ate new rev­enue. The bill also would pre­vent shut­downs of mail sort­ing cen­ters and safe­guards would be put in place to pro­tect ru­ral post of­fices.

“Im­por­tantly, my leg­is­la­tion en­sures the speedy and timely de­liv­ery of mail by re­quir­ing the Postal Ser­vice to keep de­liv­er­ing the mail six days a week and re-in­states strong overnight de­liv­ery stan­dards for first class mail. The way to save the Postal Ser­vice is not to dis­man­tle it piece by piece, but to al­low it to gen­er­ate more rev­enue by of­fer­ing new and in­no­va­tive prod­ucts and ser­vices that the Amer­i­can peo­ple want,” San­ders said.

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