Postmaster General promises not to close rural post offices

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy promised a House subcommittee that he would not close small or rural post offices as part of planned cost-cutting to help the financially floundering Postal Service.

However, DeJoy acknowledged that there are still “extreme delays” in some mail deliveries and said a 10-year strategic plan will revise existing service standards.

“The USPS faces a $160 billion projected loss over the next decade and is looking to cut costs as it faces shrinking first-class mail volumes, DeJoy told a hearing,” David Shepardson reports for Reuters. “The reorganization would keep existing six-day delivery and would not close rural or small post offices. But he acknowledged service standards will be relaxed as part of the plan. . . . The USPS faces shrinking volumes of first-class mail, increased costs of employee compensation and benefits, and higher unfunded liabilities.”

Specifically, the Postal Service reported net losses of $86.7 billion from 2007 through 2020. One reason is 2006 legislation mandating that it pre-fund more than $120 billion in retiree health care and pension liabilities, a requirement labor unions have called an unfair burden not shared by other businesses,” Shepardson reports. “Draft House legislation in circulation includes eliminating a requirement to pre-fund retiree health benefits and have employees enroll in government-retiree health plan Medicare for a saving of $40 billion to $50 billion over 10 years.”