We think of the United States Postal Service (USPS) as our first and oldest business partner. Starting in 1994, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos would pack books in a garage in Seattle and drive them to his local post office, where he knew he could count on the USPS to deliver them.
Today, we work closely with the USPS to provide excellent service and to innovate for our customers. The USPS does not receive direct taxpayer funds. It relies on revenue from its services, including package delivery. In 2020, packages contributed nearly $11 billion in profit for the USPS. Experts and impartial regulators have consistently recognized that USPS’s partnerships with companies like Amazon are a bright spot of growth and profitability for the Postal Service, contributing billions in profits annually and helping sustain USPS’s mission to serve every address in the nation.
Despite these strong partnerships, the USPS is not without challenge. Due to burdensome funding mandates and declining letter mail, the Postal Service finds itself in a financially untenable situation: It is projected to lose $160 billion over the next 10 years, according to its own estimates.
Thankfully, the leaders of the U.S. House Oversight Committee and the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee recently introduced bipartisan legislation to help revitalize the USPS and get it back on a sustainable track.
The Postal Service Reform Act would implement meaningful policy reforms to help strengthen the USPS’s financial and operational arms, and ensure the agency could continue to provide reliable service to the American people and serve as an excellent delivery and logistics provider.
The legislation would also codify a longstanding Postal Service practice to maintain an integrated delivery network of mail and packages six days per week. Americans across the country have long depended on the USPS for its reliable and affordable delivery options. And, with individuals and families increasingly relying on home deliveries for business and personal needs, solidifying the essential services of the USPS couldn’t have come at a better time.
The Postal Service’s existing delivery network, with an unparalleled footprint and hundreds of thousands of dedicated postal workers and letter carriers, can easily make this happen. Codifying USPS’s universal service to ensure it can deliver to every house, almost every day, is just the right step to take to ensure the USPS can remain self-sustaining as a universal delivery provider. The Postal Service Reform Act also includes critical reforms to help get the USPS back on strong financial footing. There has long been bipartisan consensus in Congress to help alleviate the more than $130 billion in unfunded liabilities for retirees and USPS operating losses, which are estimated at over $9 billion annually. This legislation works to do just that.
Doing away with the Postal Service’s 2006 mandate to pre-fund health benefits for retirees and integrating postal employees into the Medicare program will help stabilize USPS’s finances.
We’re proud of our partnership with USPS and want to continue working with the agency to innovate and deliver for our customers well into the future. With the House Oversight Committee’s swift advancement of the Postal Service Reform Act, we hope the full U.S. House and Senate will follow suit. Enacting these common-sense reforms will help guarantee that the USPS remains an affordable, reliable, and profitable package delivery system for the American people.