Postmaster General Louis DeJoy appeared before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Wednesday to answer lawmakers’ questions on how to put the USPS on a better financial footing. The service came under scrutiny in the fall after DeJoy ordered certain service cuts.
DeJoy said that recent postal delays were “unacceptable” and suggested officially slowing first-class mail to accommodate the U.S. Postal Service’s difficulties making on-time deliveries. Mail delivery times became unreliable in 2020 amid an increased use due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a greater use of mail-in voting for the presidential election.
DeJoy said to account for those delays and manage costs, the USPS may need to reduce the amount of mail transported by plane, thereby increasing the amount of time it may take for some mail to be delivered. He told the panel the USPS is losing some $10 billion a year in what he described as a “death spiral.” Part of the blame for the large losses is a change in 2006 requiring the USPS to pre-fund about $120 billion in retiree healthcare benefits.
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