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Will Washington Paralyze The Postal Service?

by Countable | 4.10.18

What’s the story?

  • President Trump has recently taken to Twitter to accuse Amazon of taking advantage of the U.S. Postal Service, but it is Washington that is currently paralyzing the nation’s mail carrier.

  • The Postal Service’s governing board has been empty since December of 2016. As the Wall Street Journal puts it, "That means no one fills nine seats on a body akin to a corporate board of directors for an agency that is the largest civilian employer in the country after Walmart Inc."

  • The February board meeting was the first time the board has been without governors since its creation in 1970.

  • What does the governing board do? They advise on crisis management and congressional engagement. They propose and approve rate increases, hire and fire the postmaster general, and set policies that directly affect operations at big customers, such as mail-order catalog businesses.

  • Discounts for catalog mailers are set to expire soon, and there is no board to approve new ones. Those discounts are worth millions to some companies. If the discounts expire without Postal Service action it could lead to price increases for consumers to make up the difference.

  • Nominees to the board have to be approved by the Senate. The last round of nominees under President Obama never made it through confirmation before his second term ended. The Trump administration has nominated three potential governors who are reported to have bipartisan support, but the nominations have gotten sidelined by other, more high profile, nominations.

What do you think?

Should these nominations be prioritized, especially if bipartisan support would allow them to be advanced quickly? Should the viability and health of our national postal system be a congressional priority?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Creative Commons)

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