03.08.22

Lankford Votes Against Bloated Postal Bill

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK), a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee with jurisdiction over the United States Postal Service, today voted against the so-called “postal reform” bill.

“Major reform of the Postal Service is long overdue, but it has to be right. I could not be more grateful to the thousands of postal employees who work long hours in tough conditions to keep America connected. The United States Postal Service is America’s logistics hub. But this bill doesn’t bring the essential reforms needed for the future of the Post Office. Instead it uses Medicare funds to bail out the Post Office,” said Lankford. “Senator Chuck Schumer bypassed all committee debate and blocked any amendments on the floor of the Senate. Instead of bringing real reform to the Postal Service, the bill uses a Washington budget maneuver that adds Postal Service retirees into Medicare with no way of paying for the additional benefits even as Medicare is already heading toward insolvency. I don’t believe taking a portion of USPS’s financial problems and making them Medicare’s problem is in the best interest of Oklahoma taxpayers, Medicare beneficiaries, or the Postal Service.”

According to its most recent financial reports, the Postal Service has lost over $93 billion since fiscal year 2007 with a 46 percent decrease in mail volume since then. While its package business has increased, handling packages is more expensive than handling mail. In fact, even during the COVID-19 pandemic year in 2020, mail volume declined by 11 percent. Instead of focusing on these significant operational challenges, this “reform” bill takes a different route—its primary “solution” is to require future Postal retirees and their annuitants to enroll in Medicare at a $5.5 billion cost to the already insolvent program.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate for the Medicare provision indicates the bill will cost Medicare $5.5 billion in the next ten years, but that CBO estimate does not extend beyond 2031, after which CBO admitted the bill would cost Medicare at least another $5 billion during a future time period.

Democrats had to waive budget rules to even pass this bill. With our national debt over $30 trillion, we have to stop ignoring our spending problem and finally address our debt and deficit.

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