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Search Tags: Pat Donahoe
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.
Postmaster General Pat Donahoe told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Wednesday that the Postal Service is operating under a "broken business model." But cost-saving efforts, such as ending Saturday delivery and modifying a multibillion dollar requirement to prefund future retirees health care costs, garnered little agreement among lawmakers.
The U.S. Postal Service's worsening financial situation led Postmaster General Pat Donahoe to announce last week the agency would end Saturday mail delivery beginning in August. But lawmakers on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee were divided over Donahoe's announcement. The postmaster general told the committee during a hearing Wednesday the decision was necessary to save $2 billion a year and to begin shoring up the service's funding shortfalls.
Tags: Congress , House , Senate , budget , USPS , Saturday delivery , Mark Pryor , Tom Carper , Darrell Issa , Elijah Cummings , Tom Coburn , Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee
To avoid lay-offs, this week the mail agency offered early retirements to more than 3,300 employees who will retire Dec. 31, 2012.