Through rain, sleet or snow
In 2006, during a lame duck session, the Republican-led Congress passed a bill entitled "The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act." It mandated that the U.S. Postal Service prepay its pension fund for the next 75 years - and they would have to do it within a one-year time period.
The Postal Service has 574,000 workers and 31,871 retail locations. It has a mandate to deliver mail to every door in the nation six days a week. It delivers 40 percent of the world's mail.
In 2010, the Postal Service had an income of $67 billion, and no tax dollars were used to help fund it. They had an $8.3 million budget deficit, caused by a drop in traditional mail, but they have over-funded their pension by $50 billion to $75 billion - and are unable to access any of it.
With the Postal Reform Act of 2011, the Republican Congress is again going after the Postal Service. They want to cut service to five days, laying off 120,000 workers and closing processing centers and retail offices - including rural officers. For some people in rural areas, mail is particularly important, allowing them to vote and receive home delivery of medications. In Oregon and Washington, all voting is now done by mail.
A new bill, H.R. 1351, has been introduced in Congress that would re-address the pension funding debacle, allow access to the money over-paid into the general fund, and help to get our friends at the Postal Service on a firm footing.
If you're reading this, please learn as much as you can about this new bill, and encourage your representatives to support it.