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Rolando: Lawmakers should fix what they broke, not break what’s working

Statement of Fredric V. Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, following the Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s approval of H.R. 4670, the Secure Delivery for America Act of 2014:

This irresponsible bill, H.R. 4670, is bad for the American public, bad for businesses, bad for the economy and bad for the U.S. Postal Service. And it simply ignores reality. Postal finances are steadily improving as the economy recovers from the worst recession in 80 years and as increasing online shopping sends package revenue soaring. This year, the Postal Service has reported a $1 billion operating profit.

We are confident that the majority of lawmakers will understand that degrading a now-profitable postal network not only makes no sense, it would stop the postal turnaround by driving mail — and revenue — out of the system. It would inconvenience millions of Americans and small businesses. And it would weaken the personal contact between residents and letter carriers — a bond that not only has led the public to name letter carriers the most trusted federal employees year after year, but also has resulted in the saving of countless lives as letter carriers deliver the mail.

This legislation entirely misses the point — 100 percent of USPS “losses” stem directly from the congressional mandate that the Postal Service, alone among all public agencies and private companies, pre-fund future retiree health benefits for decades into the future.

Lawmakers should fix what they broke, not break what’s working. We will work with members on both sides of the aisle to craft a bill that would help maintain and strengthen the Postal Service, which is based in the Constitution and provides Americans with the world's most affordable delivery network without a dime of taxpayer money.