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Search Tags: Pat Donahoe
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The U.S. Postal Service announced Friday its quarterly losses fell sharply in the first quarter of fiscal 2014, boosted by revenue growth in package delivery and agency cost-cutting. Still, the agency's $354 million loss for the quarter ending Dec. 31, marked the 19th of the last 21 quarters that USPS posted a loss.
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee debated an updated version of postal reform legislation Wednesday that would allow the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service to restructure its health benefits program. Included in the revised postal reform bill from Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) is a proposal that would create a new postal-only health plan within the broader Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP).
A new bill would repeal reductions in military pensions approved by Congress late last month as part of the bipartisan budget deal and allow the U.S. Postal Service to reduce regular mail delivery to five days a week. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, introduced the legislation Dec. 19, shortly before Congress decamped for the holidays.
The cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service says it can return to being profitable and begin to pay down its debt if Congress gives it the authority to overhaul its health benefits structure. Postmaster General Pat Donahoe told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Thursday that launching a postal-specific health care plan would help save the agency $8 billion annually through 2016.
In the past few weeks, competing draft proposals have been circulating on Capitol Hill. But at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing Wednesday, Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) took a step toward compromise. Issa agreed to make changes to his draft plan, including adopting several measures proposed by Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) in postal reform legislation he separately introduced Wednesday.
The U.S. Postal Service said Friday it lost $1.9 billion over the last three months and warned that losses would continue to mount without help from Congress. The loss for the financial quarter ending March 31 was narrower than a $3.2 billion loss for the same period last year, thanks to slightly higher revenues and lower payments towards health benefits for workers who will retire in the future.
If Congress doesn't pass comprehensive postal reform legislation soon, it could find itself forced to bail out the financially troubled U.S. Postal Service to the tune of billions of dollars, said Postmaster General Pat Donahoe. The postmaster general said in a speech at the National Press Club he's optimistic Congress will pass postal reform legislation this year.