Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan issued the following statement April 10 in response to discussions about including funding for the Postal Service in possible federal coronavirus economic stimulus legislation:
The men and women of the United States Postal Service provide an essential public service and bind the nation together as a part of the country’s critical infrastructure. At least six days per week, and in some instances seven, Postal Service employees accept, process, transport and deliver vital mail and packages like medicine, products that sustain us, benefits checks and important information, in every community, to every home and residence, and we will continue to do so. As Americans are urged to stay home, the importance of the mail will only grow as people, including those in rural areas and senior citizens, will need access to vital communications, essential packages and other necessities.
We are at a critical juncture in the life of the Postal Service. At a time when America needs the Postal Service more than ever, the reason we are so needed is having a devastating effect on our business. The Postal Service relies on the sale of postal products and services to fund our operations, and these sales are plummeting as a result of the pandemic. The sudden drop in mail volumes, our most profitable revenue stream, is steep and may never fully recover. We now estimate that the COVID-19 pandemic will increase the Postal Service’s net operating loss by more than $22 billion over the next 18 months, and by over $54 billion over the longer term, threatening our ability to operate.
As Congress and the administration take steps to support businesses and industries around the country, it is imperative that they also take action to shore up the finances of the Postal Service and enable us to continue to fulfill our indispensable role during the pandemic and to play an effective role in the nation’s economic recovery.
We are grateful for the heroism and commitment of our 630,000 postal employees who continue to serve the American public during this pandemic, and we look forward to working with policymakers on ensuring the solvency of the Postal Service.