The bipartisan Postal Service Emergency Assistance Act was introduced in the Senate on July 2 by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). Original co-sponsors included Senators Steve Daines (R-MT), Doug Jones (D-AL), and Jon Tester (D-MT).
According to a press release on the bill, “The Postal Service Emergency Assistance Act would provide USPS with up to $25 billion to cover revenue losses or operational expenses resulting from COVID-19. Prior to using the funds, the Postal Service would need to certify in its quarterly and annual reports to the Postal Regulatory Commission that the funds are needed to cover COVID-19-related losses or operational expenses. Senators Collins and Feinstein’s bill would also clarify the borrowing authority provided in the CARES Act and require the Board of Governors to transmit to Congress a plan to ensure the long-term solvency of USPS.”
The NRLCA joined the American Postal Workers Union, Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service, National Active and Retired Federal Employees, National Association of Postal Supervisors, National Postal Mail Handlers Union, the Package Coalition, the PRINTING United Alliance, and United Postmasters and Managers of America in support of the legislation.
“The NRLCA would like to thank Senator Collins and Senator Feinstein for introducing this much needed emergency relief bill for the Postal Service and for recognizing that rural letter carriers and others have provided essential services, at great risk to themselves, during the COVID 19 pandemic,” NRLCA President Ronnie Stutts said in the press release. “Unfortunately, the ability of rural letter carriers and other postal employees to continue the heroic daily work of ensuring that essential items such as medicines, testing kits, PPE, and relief payments get to customers throughout the country safely and efficiently is in jeopardy. Even with the recent spike in package delivery, it is not a question of ‘if,’ but ‘when’ the Postal Service will run out of money without additional funding, support, and Congressional action. The Postal Service Emergency Assistance Act is an essential step in providing much need emergency relief to enable postal workers to continue delivering without interruption during these unprecedented times.”