As anyone who follows postal matters knows, the Senate this afternoon approved legislation aimed at putting the U.S. Postal Service back on its feet financially. But the USPS Board of Governors just put out the following statement indicating that it’s anything but happy with the outcome. Here’s the statement in full, following by separate comments from Postmaster General Pat Donahoe:
“The Board, in working with management, has spent the past two years preparing a comprehensive business plan to make the Postal Service viable so it would not become a liability to the American people. This plan was validated by outside experts. We stand behind this plan, and we are convinced it is the right approach.
Unfortunately, action by the Senate today falls far short of the Postal Service’s plan. We are disappointed that the Senate’s bill would not enable the Postal Service to return to financial viability. A strong Postal Service is important to the health of the entire mailing industry and the Postal Service’s ability to finance universal service for the American public.
Given volume losses we have experienced over the past five years along with expected future trends, it is totally inappropriate in these economic times to keep unneeded facilities open. There is simply not enough mail in our system today. It is also inappropriate to delay the implementation of 5-day delivery when the vast majority of the American people support this change. Failure to act on these changes will ensure that the Postal Service’s losses will continue to mount.
We remain hopeful that Congress will ultimately produce legislation that will enable the Postal Service to return to financial viability.”
Now, here’s Donahoe’s statement, which strikes a somewhat more conciliatory note:
“We appreciate the hard work of the Senate in addressing postal issues, and we believe that there are important and valuable provisions contained in the legislation. We would have preferred the Senate allow the Postal Service to move further and faster in addressing its cost reduction goals.
Today the Postal Service incurs a daily loss of $25 million and has a debt of more than $13 billion. Based on our initial analysis of the legislation passed today, losses would continue in both the short and long term. If this bill were to become law, the Postal Service would be back before the Congress within a few years requesting additional legislative reform.
The Postal Service does not seek to be a burden to the American taxpayer, and we believe such an outcome is entirely avoidable. The Postal Service has advanced a comprehensive five-year plan that would enable revenue generation and achieve cost reductions of $20 billion by 2015 ― restoring the Postal Service to long-term profitability.
The plan we have advanced is a fair and responsible approach for our customers, our employees and the communities we serve. We are hopeful that the legislative process will continue and that enacted legislation will put the Postal Service on a sustainable path to the future.”