Postal Updates

Senators comment on future of USPS at bill markup

Feb 7, 2014, 3 AM

Statements by two members of the United States Senate at different ends of the political spectrum illustrate how little agreement there is over the future of the U.S. Postal Service.

At the markup of a postal bill Jan. 29, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., declared that the USPS should be placed in bankruptcy court. That would enable the agency to tear up all its labor contracts and resolve its financial woes, he said.

Paul also urged that, where state laws allow it, postal customers should be permitted to enter post offices with firearms.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., offered a more sympathetic view of the Postal Service’s future in a column posted Feb. 1 on The Huffington Post website.

She liked an idea, floated by the Postal Service’s inspector general, of allowing the USPS to offer banking services to the 68 million Americans who have no bank accounts.

That idea has been floated by several postmasters general, who have cited European postal authorities that run banking operations.

Washington’s banking lobby has managed to squash that idea in the past.

Warren acknowledged any such change would take time.

“But this is an idea I am going to spend a lot of time working on,” she promised.