Sens. Tom Carper, D-Delaware; Jerry Moran, R-Kansas; Heidi Heitkamp, D-North Dakota; and Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, introduced on March 22 The Postal Service Reform Act of 2018: Improving Postal Operations, Service, and Transparency to stabilize, preserve and improve the U.S. Postal Service.

The financial condition of the Postal Service, which operates at the center of a $1.4 trillion industry and employs more than 7 million people, has been deteriorating for years. Despite the Postal Service setting a record Dec. 18, 2017, when more than 37 million packages were delivered, the most packages delivered in a single day in their more than 200-year history, the Postal Service saw a net loss for the first quarter totaling $540 million.

In addition to reporting net losses for the 11th year in a row and defaulting on their legally mandated multi-billion-dollar retiree health prefunding payments, the Postal Service also, for the first time, missed payments they owe to the federal retirement system in 2017 — for a combined total of $6.9 billion. For years now, the onerous prefunding schedule for future retiree health care obligations has put the Postal Service in a place where it must cut costs — often at the price of service — and prevents them from investing in the infrastructure they need. The situation is one that can be fixed through needed legislative reforms.

The Postal Service Reform Act of 2018 includes a comprehensive package of reforms that would put the Postal Service on firm financial footing, stabilize and improve service performance, allow for the development of new products and services and enhance transparency.

“Nearly two and a half centuries after its founding, the Postal Service remains an important part of our everyday lives and plays a vital role in our economy,” said Carper. “But it continues to lose money at a record pace. Our economy still depends on a healthy and robust Postal Service. It’s our duty in Congress to pave a fiscally sustainable path that will enable this American institution to thrive”