PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Sen. Jack Reed joined local mail carriers outside the Providence Post Office Monday to introduce a new plan which he claims will save the U.S. Postal Service.
Reed said he is backing a bipartisan postal reform agreement that will put the USPS on a stronger and more sustainable financial path.
The reform plan, Reed said, would eliminate pension pre-funding restrictions and integrate postal worker retirees’ health care with Medicare.
These two actions alone, he said, would save the USPS $46 billion over the next decade, and in turn, allow it to do more for its customers.
“During the pandemic, the men and women of the United States Postal Service proved to be the definition of essential workers: delivering for us when we needed them most,” Reed said. “They kept serving when so much else shut down. Neither rain, nor sleet, nor COVID-19, nor snow stopped our dedicated mail carriers from doing their duty.”
“But during the Trump Administration, there was a deliberate, partisan effort to slow the mail and undermine the Postal Service,” he continued. “Donald Trump was wrong to try to weaken the Postal Service, and now we have a bipartisan plan to modernize, strengthen and sustain it for years to come. We must put it on sounder financial footing, and we must do it in a way that enhances services and delivers for taxpayers, postal workers, and customers.”
The reform plan will allow the USPS to develop a public online mail delivery performance dashboard, where customers can can view on-time delivery metrics by ZIP code each week.
George Nee, president of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO, said the system that deliveries essentials like prescriptions, paychecks and letters, needs assistance as they struggle to do their jobs.
“It takes so much money out of the system that it has curtailed the kind of service people should get from their post office,” Nee said. “This is a fundamental part of our democracy, moving mail.”
The bill was introduced to the U.S. Senate last week.