Postal Updates

PMG Brennan: USPS could run out of cash in 2020

Apr 14, 2020, 10 AM
The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is causing serious cashflow problems for the United States Postal Service.

By Bill McAllister, Washington Correspondent

Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan told the House of Representatives’ Oversight Committee April 9 in a video briefing that the United States Postal Service “will run out of cash this year” without direct help from Congress and the Trump administration.

She also said the agency anticipates “a $13 billion revenue loss directly” as a result of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic plus $57.3 billion in additional losses over 10 years.

Brennan also said the Postal Service’s board of governors, all appointed by President Donald Trump, is asking Congress for a $25 billion emergency appropriation for the agency.

In addition the board wants $25 billion to fund shovel-ready projects to modernize the agency and access to another $25 billion in unrestricted borrowing authority from the Department of the Treasury.

Those three requests put the board at odds with Trump who previously rejected a House plan that would have given the agency $25 billion.

“I want to commend the brave men and women of the Postal Service for all they are doing in the midst of this pandemic,” said House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney, D-NY, in a press release. 

“The Postal Service is holding on for dear life, and unless Congress and the White House provide meaningful relief in the next stimulus bill, the Postal Service could cease to exist,” she said.

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, D-Va, chairman of the House Government Operations Subcommittee, said in the release, “The Postal Service is fighting for its survival, putting in jeopardy the careers and paychecks of its 650,000 employees — as well as the more than $1.7 trillion mailing industry that employs more than 7.5 million people.”

“We cannot allow the Postal Service to collapse. To do so would deepen our nation’s economic crisis ... and eviscerate the very infrastructure we need to administer the upcoming elections,” Connolly said.

In an April 14 email message to residents of his district, Connolly said total mail volume had dropped by 30 percent in the previous week from the previous year and is projected “to plummet to 50 percent below last year’s sales by June.”

“That loss of revenue, combined with added costs related to the COVID-19 response, would leave USPS an additional $13 billion in the red in the third and fourth quarters of this fiscal year,” he said.

Connolly also disclosed that Postmaster General Brennan has informed Congress that “USPS will be unable to make payroll in October absent urgent congressional intervention.”

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