President Trump signed an executive order to establish a task force to study the ailing finances of the United States Postal Service. The Postal Service has been losing money going on 11 straight years. The total losses each fiscal year have been in the billions, with the latest report for 2017 saying the agency incurred a $2.7 billion net loss.
Trump said in this executive order that the Postal Service needs to be restructured to avoid a “taxpayer-funded bailout”. The 2019 White House’s budget proposal noted that Postal employee benefits costs are one of the primary factors weighing on the agency. It said the Postal Service must be “given the ability to address their expenses—including the cost of personnel—and take appropriate actions to balance service levels with revenue. USPS must also have the flexibility to raise the revenue necessary to support their operations.”
USPS welcomed these possible changes saying, “An open and transparent review process in which the perspectives of all stakeholders are fully represented to develop reform proposals could benefit American businesses and consumers.”
The task force will evaluate the finances and operations of the Postal Service. It will be chaired by the Secretary of the Treasury or his designee. It will include the Office of Management and Budget Director, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, and any other department or agency head the chair may designate.
The task force will look at the expansion and pricing of the package delivery market, decline in mail volumes, and the state of the Postal Services business model. Then it will make recommendations for administrative and legislative reforms that take into consideration the views of the Postal Services workforce and Postal outcomes.
The task force will be dissolved after meeting its objectives.
Many key lawmakers believe the steps and others taken in the bill would provide significant, immediate relief to the agency. “I welcome President Trump’s engagement on this important issue and urge him to provide the leadership that is needed to finally get these reforms over the finish line,” said Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del, author of the Senate bill and Congress’ top advocate for Postal reform. “What we don’t need though is to waste more time studying a problem that we already know exists. We know that the Postal Service’s financial situation is in a downward spiral. We know we need to act now.”