On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I strongly urge you to vote in favor of the Delivering for America Act (H.R. 8015) when it is considered on the floor. This legislation would provide $25 billion in relief to mitigate the disastrous financial impacts COVID-19 has had on the United States Postal Service (USPS). Passage of this bill is essential to ensuring full operations of the Postal Service at the level relied on and required by the American public.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Postal Service and its more than 600,000 employees have faced increasingly challenging financial hurdles. COVID-19 has resulted in a dire drop in revenue, as estimated at as much as $5 billion this year. At the same time, expenses relating to protecting the postal workforce from virus transmission and overtime to cover for employees who have been sickened place vast and unanticipated strain on USPS’ budget. While the Postal Service does not rely on taxpayer support to operate in normal conditions, the impacts of COVID-19 have guaranteed it cannot maintain service levels without immediate and robust federal assistance.
Congress must act now to prevent these conditions from curtailing essential services. Even in normal times, a disruption to the Postal Service would be catastrophic for the millions of Americans in communities in every corner of the nation who rely on USPS for timely delivery of everything from their paychecks to their prescription medicines. Today, this need is further underscored by the critical role that the Postal Service will play in the upcoming elections. USPS expects to handle an unprecedented amount of mail-in and absentee ballots from voters who prefer these options as a safe alternative to in-person polling places. Without a fully operational postal service, the ability of these voters to cast a ballot is placed in jeopardy, and so too is the integrity of our electoral system.
The irreplaceable role of a fully operational USPS is not debatable. By supporting H.R. 8015, Congress can ensure that the pandemic does not cut Americans off from essential postal services, threaten our ability to hold fair elections, or unduly place the hundreds of thousands of USPS employees in harm’s way. We urge you to vote yes on the bill when it is considered.
Larry I. Willis