United States Postal Service
Senator Leahy opposes many of the changes that have been proposed or implemented by the United States Postal Service (USPS). The recovering economy, compounded by a variety of factors, including postal mail being replaced by email, has left the USPS in financial straits. However, closing post offices and mail processing facilities will only put people out of work while making the postal system slower and less competitive. It will not save the Postal Service from its systemic problems. USPS cannot cut its way to greatness. Instead of its “cuts-only” approach, the Postal Service should consider new markets where it can grow its business and increase revenues.
In the short term, rectifying the health benefits pre-fund requirement and restoring the excess funds the Postal Service overpaid into the Civil Service Retirement System may go nearly the entire way toward balancing the Postal Service's budget. These changes, which save much more money than closures, must be made before we even consider closing small post offices in communities across America. They will give the Postal Service some budgetary breathing room to consider strategic changes to its business model to put USPS back on a sustainable track.
Senator Leahy, Senator Sanders and Congressman Welch have written to Postmaster General Donahoe three times to express these concerns, and they will continue to address these concerns with Postmaster General Brennan. They cited federal law which states that "no small post office shall be closed solely for operating at a deficit, it being the specific intent of the Congress that effective postal services be insured to residents of both urban and rural communities."
Senator Leahy believes that all Vermonters deserve access to high quality mail service. He will keep working to preserve Ben Franklin's original vision for the Postal Service while ensuring that the Service remains solvent in the years to come.