Instead of Attacking Our Postal Service, Support it

Albio Sires


Since the President came into office, his fixation with the United States Postal Service has been relentless. He has floated the idea of privatizing the service, refused to offer extra funds, and recently has been launching partisan attacks on the agency. But for all the rhetoric spewed by the President, he has failed to act in any meaningful way to help the Postal Service, opting instead to launch baseless attacks that serve the postal employees, and our country, no good.

Since the Postal Service Act of 1792, mail delivery has been a major program of the federal government, delivering mail conveniently at a low cost to millions across the country. The early days of the Postal Service were formative for not only the agency, but our entire country. With the expansion of our great nation came the expansion of mail delivery, as the Postal Service followed those who moved to previously unknown segments of the country, it brought roads, built up infrastructure, and expanded our reach in the process.

Over 220 years later, the Postal Service remains every bit as important to our country. In recent months, postal employees have braved the COVID-19 pandemic to keep the country’s timely and effective mail delivery system up and running. Delivering packages ordered by millions of home-confined Americans and dropping off letters to keep friends and loved ones in each other’s company. The low cost of the Postal Service, relative to its competitors, helps millions across the country ship and receive vital correspondence, get medication, and pay bills. The over 600,000 employees at the Postal Service deliver over 140 billion pieces of mail each year, reaching every corner of our country.

The President’s continued calls to privatize the Postal Service are reckless and would undermine an essential service that so many Americans rely upon. Rather than solving any problems, the privatization of the Postal Service would create new ones. The Administration often cites postal privatization in other countries as reference, but fails to mention the severe job losses, wage cuts for postal employees, reduced mail delivery, and increase in prices that would follow. The Postal Service is not a tool for private gain, but rather for public good. Ensuring mail delivery to every corner of the country has been a staple of our democratic institutions.

If the President is so concerned with the performance of the Postal Service, he should not have blocked the $25 billion in funding for the Postal Service that was allocated in the CARES Act in March. I have proudly signed my name onto many pieces of legislation in support of the USPS. Last Congress, I signed onto a resolution expressing the sense of the House that the Congress should ensure the Postal Service does not become privatized. This year, during the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, I joined numerous letters to Congressional Leadership urging support for the Postal Service and I signed onto H.R. 6425, the Protect Our Post Offices Act, to help allocate $25 billion for the service when they needed it most. I’ve also cosponsored H.R. 2382, the USPS Fairness Act, which would repeal the requirement that the Postal Service annually prepay future retirement health benefits, another option besides privatization that would help the profitability of the Postal Service. But while in Congress we have been coming up with solutions and showing our support for the USPS, the President has been tearing it down and offering no valid suggestions to help the Postal Service he detests so much.

The recent continued attacks on the Postal Service by the President are nothing short of an attempt to undermine confidence and cast doubt ahead of the November elections, where the Postal Service is expected to handle a record number of mail-in ballots. Instead of launching baseless attacks, the President should be working with Congress to find concrete options to help support the Postal Service and ensure that people are able to exercise their right to vote in a safe and effective manner. Unfortunately, this has not been the case, the Administration has failed to enact any meaningful support and is instead content to help facilitate the fall of the Postal Service. During these times, we should be supporting our Postal Service, not attacking it.

U.S. Rep. Albio Sires represents the 8th Congressional District.

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