A day before he heads back to Washington, D.C., to lead negotiations on the next coronavirus recovery bill, COVID-4, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer revealed that U.S. Post offices, including those across Upstate New York, could be forced to shut their doors unless they get an immediate infusion of funds and the personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies needed to keep workers and the mail-receiving public safe.
Schumer, citing the worry, made a vow, today, to fight for a critically needed $25 billion for the USPS so they can keep the doors open and the mail moving for all Americans.
“All across Upstate New York, from Western and Central New York, to the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, Capital District, Hudson Valley, or beyond, the USPS performs a lifeline service for countless Americans and the people of New York that must continue amid and beyond this pandemic,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer.
“The fact is, the coronavirus has severely crippled USPS operations and their funds. Despite that, they have kept the doors open, the mail -- and really the economy -- moving, and now they need the help to sustain their pace. The fight to keep our post offices open by injecting the dollars needed to do the job and purchase the personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies required to keep everyone safe will begin tomorrow, and I am here to say: I vow to lead it."
Schumer explained the fight to keep post offices across the country open will begin this upcoming week. He said the services provided by USPS amount to lifelines for millions of Americans that cannot be replaced or easily replicated, especially in certain parts of the country.
Schumer detailed how the coronavirus pandemic has crippled our post offices and their operations as he stressed their relevance and importance to our larger economic recovery.
According to the Associated Press, mail volume is down by more than 30 percent from last year because of the coronavirus, and the Postal Service says losses will increase by more than $22 billion over the next 18 months.
Schumer added that the monumental costs of personal protective equipment (PPE) are also driving huge costs for the USPS. Those supplies are needed to keep workers and the mail-receiving public safe. Schumer said the USPS will need dollars to purchase the PPE it needs, in addition to funding to offset the aforementioned operational shortfalls delivered by the coronavirus.
“We are unable to predict the duration of COVID-19 business closures and the duration of the recession we are currently experiencing: however, this situation will materially damage our financial condition,” said USPS Chief Financial Officer Joseph Corbett.
“While we continue to conserve capital and reduce expenses in areas where volumes are declining, our ability to continue to serve the nation will require substantial finding from the federal government or other sources.”
“The bottom line here," added Schumer, "is that without the U.S. Postal Service in operation, we might as well stamp ‘Return to Sender’ on any economic recovery plan that is presented.”
The U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation: 160 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations, according to the Service.