Sunday, April 20, 2014 · 7:27 p.m.
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Leaders with the United States Postal Service are urging Congress to make reform a top priority. (Photo: Contributed)

Leaders with the United States Postal Service are still awaiting legislative action that can help stabilize the struggling enterprise.

“The 112th Congress adjourned without having passed postal legislation," Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said in a prepared statement. "Such legislation could quickly restore the Postal Service to profitability and put the organization on a stable, long-term financial footing. This lack of action is disappointing."

FYI

The USPS is a self-supporting government enterprise and receives no tax dollars for operating expenses. It relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

The USPS ended the 2012 fiscal year with a record net loss of $15.9 billion and has been struggling the past two years—defaulting on mandated payments to prefund employee health benefits and facing declining amounts of first-class mail, which has been a big revenue boost in the past.

USPS leaders have been waiting for Congress to approve measures that allow for flexibility in the USPS business model. 

For example, leaders are looking for congressional approval on a five-day delivery, which would save the USPS more than $3 billion a year, according to Nooga.com archives.

In 2011, leaders attempted to increase operation efficiency by reducing work hours by 34 million, despite an increase of 636,500 delivery locations, also according to archives.

Donahoe said that USPS leaders have been working closely with members of Congress in the past two years on the framework for a more viable business model.

In the past two years, USPS leaders have also cut about 60,000 employees, consolidated 70 mail-processing centers and reduced hours at many post offices. They have also worked to increase package volume and have introduced a same-day delivery service.

"As a result of frequent communication with congressional leaders, we have modified important parts of our five-year comprehensive business plan, including the pace of consolidation of mail-processing facilities, to give Congress maximum flexibility to make needed legislative changes," he said.

But Congress still hasn't enacted the changes, and the current financial situation is unsustainable, Donahoe said.

The USPS is losing $25 million a day, he said. So, the situation needs to be made an "urgent priority."

"The Postal Service should not have to do business this way, which has undermined the confidence of our customer base and the $800 billion mailing industry we serve," he said. "We encourage the new 113th Congress to make postal reform an urgent priority and to work steadily toward the quick passage of reform legislation. We will continue to work with leaders of our House and Senate oversight committees and all members of Congress to help make this happen.”

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