The United States Postal Service (USPS) and their unions continue to raise an alarm about their dire financial situation. According to the USPS officials, they are losing around $2 billion per month amid the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent release said the financial situation is “threatening their ability to operate.”
While package deliveries are up, business mailings are down, which is how USPS makes most of its money.
"It is a dire situation, Mark Dimondstein, president of the American Postal Workers Union, said.
"The post office does not run on any tax dollars; it runs on the revenue generated by postage and postal products."
Dimonstein says the postal service could run out of money by fall.
USPS has asked Congress for a $75 billion bailout. While a $25 billion funding package has passed the House, it has so far not passed the US Senate.
The American Postal Workers Union has launched a rare television advertisement asking Americans to call Congress.
NEW FROM ME: American Postal Workers Union @APWUnational set to launch a "save the post office commercial" asking Americans to call Congress. Look for ad to air in swing states/tossup Senate races as Union fights for Congressional funding. pic.twitter.com/o9GTR26EAC
— Joe St. George (@JoeStGeorge) May 20, 2020
A skeptical president
There is bipartisan support in Congress to help the USPS; however, the White House has been critical, so far, of any bailout unless USPS changes its pricing model.
"The post office is a joke," President Donald Trump said in the Oval Office recently.
Many conservatives have argued for years the need to phase out the postal service, arguing it loses too much money.
What will this mean for you?
If USPS closes or is forced to alter its mission or prices, what would be the impact?
Well, FedEx or UPS would likely fill the void. But there would be an impact on shipping costs.
"Rates would certainly go up," Dimondstein explained. "People could charge whatever they want. The public postal service is the low-cost anchor."
For instance, a 9-inch box weighing 2 lbs would cost around $8 to ship from Tampa to Cleveland. It would cost around $12 with UPS or FedEx.
Amazon prices could also be impacted, because USPS handles around a third of their deliveries.
Joe St. George is the National Political Editor and Washington Correspondent for Scripps Television. Scripps’ Local Media operations represent a portfolio of 60 television stations in 42 markets.