Sen. Reed says a bipartisan group of Senate Democrats and Republicans has agreed on a plan to rescue the U.S. Postal Service, put it on path to financial sustainability, and ensure reliable mail service for RI

PROVIDENCE, RI – Rhode Island citizens and businesses rely on the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to deliver for them.  But after the Trump Administration made operational changes to slow the mail, blocked needed funding for the USPS, and hobbled their finances, the Postal Service -- which employs roughly 637,000 people, and which Americans count on for their prescriptions, paychecks, utility bills, and letters from loved ones -- struggled to do its job.

Today, U.S. Senator Jack Reed joined with local mail carriers outside the Providence Post Office on Corliss Street to demand action to save the USPS.

Senator Reed is backing a new, bipartisan postal reform agreement that will help save the Postal Service and put it on a stronger and more sustainable financial path. 

Ten Senate Republicans have now agreed to join Senate Democrats in supporting a postal reform bill that would eliminate the overly burdensome requirement to pre-fund its retiree health benefits that has hurt the Postal Service financially, and integrate postal worker retirees’ health care with Medicare.  Together, these two reforms would create nearly $46 billion in savings for the U.S. Postal Service over the next ten years.

“During the pandemic, the men and women of the United States Postal Service proved to be the definition of essential workers: delivering for us when we needed them most.  They kept serving when so much else shut down.  Neither rain, nor sleet, nor COVID-19, nor snow stopped our dedicated mail carriers from doing their duty.  But during the Trump Administration, there was a deliberate, partisan effort to slow the mail and undermine the Postal Service,” said Senator Reed.  “Donald Trump was wrong to try to weaken the Postal Service.  And now we have a bipartisan plan to modernize, strengthen, and sustain it for years to come.  We must put it on sounder financial footing.  And we must do it in a way that enhances services and delivers for taxpayers, postal workers, and customers.”

Jay Marrero, President of American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Local 387, stated: “I agree and support Senator Jack Reed.  This bipartisan plan will definitely help the Postal Service as to providing better service to the American people.  This will help and save the Postal Service and will be financially beneficial to the Service.”

“The RI AFL-CIO is proud to stand with Senator Reed and appreciate his efforts on behalf of the thousand of workers who work for the USPS in our state. A strong and stable postal service is fundamental to a democracy and this legislation will ensure a positive future for this critical service,” said George Nee, President of Rhode Island AFL-CIO.

Senator Reed says the bipartisan plan will help strengthen transparency and accountability for USPS performance, keep the Postal Service operating in communities nationwide, and ensure it can better serve the American people.  The bill will include technology upgrades allowing the Postal Service to develop a public online mail delivery performance dashboard, so customers can view on-time delivery metrics by zip code each week.

Earlier this year, Senators Reed and Whitehouse joined with 31 of their Senate colleagues in pressing Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to take swift action to restore on-time mail delivery.

Senator Reed has expressed a lack of confidence in Mr. DeJoy’s leadership at the Post Office and sounded the alarm about the Trump Administration’s attempts to undermine USPS.  The Postmaster General may only be removed by the Postal Service’s board of governors.  So far, the U.S. Senate has confirmed two of President Biden's three nominees to the board, and added a new Deputy Postmaster General, Douglas Tulino, who is a non-partisan public servant with 41 years of experience at the Postal Service.