Tester slams House for Postal Service default

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after the U.S. Postal Service failed to make a $5.5 billion payment for health benefits for future retirees as required by a 2006 law. Tester and his Senate colleagues passed bipartisan postal reform in April that would relieve the Postal Service of this burden, but the House of Representatives has failed to consider it or any other bill to reform the Postal Service:

“Today’s default was entirely avoidable. Had the House of Representatives passed our bipartisan Postal Reform Bill, the Postal Service would be on more stable financial footing. Despite the House’s inaction, I will keep fighting to protect our mail delivery.”

The Postal Service is struggling financially in part due to the 2006 law – enacted before Tester was a member of the Senate – that requires the Postal Service to prepay retirement benefits of postal employees at a rate higher than necessary. Without action by Congress, the Postal Service may run out of money by next summer.

Tester’s bipartisan postal reform bill gives the Postal Service the flexibility it needs to restructure while protecting postal service in rural states like Montana.