Columns

Blaine’s Bulletin: The Postal Service

Washington, August 21, 2020

Of the numerous services the federal government provides, the United States Post Office (USPS) is one of the very few actually named in the Constitution. Our founders fully understood the importance of a national postal service and left no doubt that it should be a priority. Throughout my time in Congress, I have supported the Postal Service and continue to be especially supportive of helping our rural post offices stay open for business. This Congress, I have been proud to co-sponsor two bills to support the USPS. The first is a bill to help the USPS ensure the continuation of its 6-day mail delivery service. Saturday mail delivery is what helps the USPS stand out from its competitors and small businesses, direct mailers, and weekly newspapers rely on the USPS to get their Saturday deliveries to them on time. The second allows the USPS to continue delivering mail directly to America’s doorsteps. Letter carriers are valued members of our communities and deliver mail to the doors of over 36 million American businesses and households. I was proud to vote to help this time-honored tradition continue and to allow our letter carriers continue to do what they do best. 

Over the last two weeks there has been a lot of concern over the viability of the Post Office. Some people have gone as far as saying President Trump is sabotaging the Postal Service to suppress mail-in voting in November. Not only are these accusations ridiculous, Speaker Pelosi and her cohorts in the media know full well that the President doesn’t even pick the Postmaster General. They also understand that the Post Office is perfectly capable of handling the tiny uptick in mail the election could present. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy was unanimously elected in May 2020 by the United States Postal Service Board of Governors, not by the President. It is important to note that each member of the USPS Board of Governors was unanimously approved by the Senate. Not one Senator voted against any of the Board members who selected Mr. DeJoy. Yet, to cause confusion and fan political flames, the very Senators who approved the Board are acting like they don’t know it exists.   

Despite the coordinated fear mongering, those who know best continue to say the Postal Service is well-equipped and able. According to a former commissioner from the U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission, Ruth Y. Goldway who served in this position for 18 years under three different presidents, our Postal Service is “perfectly capable of handling election mail.” The USPS chief logistics and processing operations officer and executive vice president, David Williams and general counsel and executive vice president, Thomas Marshall recently stated that “[o]n any given day, the Postal Service delivers more than 425 million pieces of mail, and our best estimates are that election mail will account for less than 2% of all mail volume from mid-September until Election Day.” Even the far-left leaning New York Times admitted, “[e]xperts agree that the Postal Service has the raw capacity to absorb additional ballots, even if 150 million people decided to vote by mail…” 

That’s not to say the Postal Service doesn’t have issues.  It absolutely does, but these problems are several years, if not decades, old. The biggest problem is that many Americans have moved from traditional mail to online correspondence. Over the last 11 years – long before President Trump took office – the Postal Service has been losing money due to factors like the increased popularity of email and Americans’ ability to do things like pay their bills online. And while the USPS has felt the effects of the coronavirus just like almost every other industry nationwide, the United States Treasury has already made a $10 billion loan available to offset the pandemic’s effects. 

Speaker Pelosi and Congressional Democrats are crying wolf over a manufactured crisis to distract from the fact that they refused to work with Republicans and the President on further coronavirus relief for our nation – instead opting to recess for five weeks and let Americans fend for themselves. For fear that anything good for the country could be considered positive for the President, Democrats are promoting a conspiracy theory with the hopes of increasing Joe Biden’s chances of being elected. It is as immoral as it is desperate. This country is still dealing with the effects of the coronavirus. That should be the focus of our efforts, not falsified claims about the Postal Service and intentionally creating chaos. Unfortunately, disinformation and chaos seems to be the only things that motivate the Speaker to open the doors of the House during her declared August recess.