Federal Times Blogs
The U.S. Postal Service will be announcing its final fiscal 2013 financial results next Friday, according to a Federal Register notice today, and as usual, the only suspense will lie in the exact amount of red ink. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that last year’s loss will be nowhere near 2012’s monster figure of $15.9 billion.
That was a fluke, caused in large part because the Postal Service’s books reflected the cost of two skipped payments for future retiree health benefits. (Congress had pushed the deadline for the 2011 payment into 2012.) For 2013, the final number is likely to be in the range of $6 billion.
But as FedLine has noted before, even modest improvements in the Postal Service’s financial performance lessen the political heat on Congress to move on the long-term restructuring legislation that USPS leaders desperately want. Those odds, never good to start with, continue to fade.
The House of Representatives, for example, has yet to take up a postal overhaul bill sponsored by Rep. Darrell Issa,, R-Calif., almost four months after the measure came out of committee. This week, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee had initially planned to take up a competing measure sponsored by Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., according to a draft agenda obtained by FedLine, but then dropped it from consideration, apparently because of a lack of consensus.
As the year winds to a close, lawmakers’ attention is likely to be consumed by budget negotiations aimed at heading off another partial government shutdown early next year. And with congressional mid-term elections coming next year, the prospects for legislative action–absent a full-blown, can’t-pay-the-bills crisis–will be even slimmer.
John Bouck Jr Says:
November 10th, 2013 at 10:33 am
Do you really want to fix the Postal Service, or are you part of the problem? Let’s do a “Cliff Notes” version of a fix it plan:
1) Stop extorting 5.5 billion dollors a year from the USPS to pre fund retirees benefits that are not born yet! If the rest of the USPS’s plan takes place, there will be NO FUTURE RETIREE”S to speak of and then what happens to ALL of the prefunding money? Oh, I don’t hear any response.
2) If you want us to be run like a business, let us run like a business. We drive 4 million miles a day in the processing and delivery of US MAil. Any increase in the price of oil has a drastic effect on our operating capital and we are not ALLOWED to raise our prices to remain solvent. Allow us to raise our prices to a level where we are solvent, we have already down sized to a point where this should be easy.