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Save the Postal Service

Editor, News-Register:

I am writing regarding a looming crises that hopefully can be avoided. The United States Post Office is in a serious crises as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and draconian Republican mandates. The Postal Service’s Board of Governors said the service needs financial help from Congress to maintain service at current levels. It will run out of money between July and September. At this point it will cease operations, affecting over 469,934 career employees and 136,174 non-career employees. Congress has authorized the Treasury Department to lend the Postal Service up to $10 billion as part of a $2.3 trillion coronavirus stimulus package.

President Trump has threatened to block that aid. He has frequently criticized the Post Office. He says it charges too little to deliver packages sent by online retailers such as Amazon, whose founder and chief executive, Jeff Bezos also owns the Washington Post, which has been a critic of Trump. And now, at this most critical moment in its fight for survival, the Postal Service will be led by a Trump crony. Recently, Trump installed Louis DeJoy, a North Carolina businessman who is currently in charge of fundraising for the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, to serve as the new postmaster general. Trump has gone so far as to call the Postal Service “a joke.”

The Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 enabled the Postal Service to be declared an independent agency of the executive branch of our federal government. It is also one of the few government agencies explicitly authorized by the United States Constitution

Congress has already put the Postal Service in a deep hole when they passed The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act in 2006. The law required it to pre-fund employee pension and retirement health care cost for the next 75 years within a 10-year time span. In contrast, private businesses in the United States have no legal obligation to pay for past promises which have not yet come due. The Republicans claim they are against entitlement programs yet they make this plan exactly that, an entitlement for workers not yet born.

Congress quickly bailed out the airline industry to the tune of $50 billion. That bailout included $4 billion for FedEx and UPS. But Trump and Republicans in Congress continue to stonewall emergency funding for the 245-year-old Postal Service. I truly believe it is all part of their quest to privatize it.

We need the Postal Service. It is a stand-alone federal agency that previously required no federal money to operate until a Republican Congress and president started using it as a political toy to disband. The privatization of mail service would be a crushing blow to people depending on the Postal Service as a last-stop mailing route.

It would also be in violation of our Constitution.

Frank Papini

St. Clairsville

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