Cohen Sends Letter to Speaker Boehner Urging Him to Let the House Consider Legislation to Help Save U.S. Postal Service
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) recently sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (OH-8) urging him to let the House of Representatives vote on bipartisan legislation the U.S. Senate approved to help save the U.S. Postal Service. A PDF of the letter is attached and the text of the letter is pasted below:
August 1, 2012
The Honorable John A. Boehner
United States House of Representatives
H-232 The Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515
I’m writing to urge you to take up the bipartisan Senate passed legislation to save the United States Postal Service.
On August 1, 2012, for the first time in history, the United States Postal Service (USPS) defaulted on its obligations. Due to congressional inaction, the USPS failed to pay its $5.5 billion payment for future retiree health benefits. The Senate passed a bipartisan postal reform legislation bill, by a vote of 62-37 in April that could have prevented the default and could preserve the Postal Service.
The USPS is laboring under a crippling cost burden mandated by the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. The Postal Service must prefund the employer’s premium for the health benefits of future retirees, while still continuing to pay health care premiums for its current retirees. No other entity – public or private – is required to prepay this health benefit obligation at these extremely high levels. Congress must act quickly in order to prevent the loss of thousands of jobs in the Postal Service and the American mailing industry. I recognize that the Postal Service must make difficult decisions in order to ensure its survival. But we must relieve the USPS of its obligations to pre-pay future retiree health benefits in the amount it is required to now. Doing so will provide it with the flexibility it needs to generate revenue without cutting jobs, essential services and closing post office branches in communities that rely on them. It would avoid the need for the Service to borrow money from the Treasury for the sole purpose of paying the annual premium if we remove the mandate.
Again, I ask you to preserve the universal service that the USPS is mandated to provide and support the bipartisan Senate passed legislation to save the United States Postal Service.
As always, I remain,
Member of Congress