Senate unanimously passes Tester’s cut to Postmaster General’s salary
Senator’s measure included in Postal reform bill as it clears Senate
(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester today led the effort to cut the salaries of the top leaders of the U.S. Postal Service, saying any effort to reform the U.S. Postal Service must start from the "top down."
The Senate unanimously approved Tester’s bipartisan amendment that cuts the salaries of top Postal Service executives by one third. Tester’s provision, cosponsored by Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), is now part of the overall Postal Service reform bill.
The Postmaster General currently makes about $400,000 per year in salary and benefits. His predecessor made up to $800,000 in total compensation. Cabinet secretaries make less than $200,000.
Tester, Montana’s only member of the committee that oversees the Postal Service, said that the Postmaster General needs to share in the sacrifice and be held accountable if the Postal Service wants to cut mail service across rural America.
“If the Postal Service is looking to save money, the cuts need to start at the top,” Tester said. “There’s no reason folks at the Postal Service should be making more than the Defense Secretary–especially if they're turning to rural communities for cuts.”
Tester’s bipartisan amendment also cuts the pay of other Postal Service executives and denies bonuses.
The Postal Service is struggling financially in part due to a 2006 law that required the Postal Service to prepay retirement benefits of postal employees at a rate higher than necessary. The Postal reform bill eliminates this requirement as part of efforts to preserve the Postal Service.
The reform measure cleared the Senate on a 62 to 37 vote. A different bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives, but no vote has been scheduled.
Tester’s salary amendment joins his amendment to protect rural post offices from arbitrary closures that was added to the reform bill yesterday. Tester’s measure (online HERE) allows the Postal Regulatory Commission to overturn any Postal Service decision to close a post office if the Postal Service does not meet criteria. The Postal Regulatory Commission is an independent agency that oversees the Postal Service.
Tester’s measure to reduce the salary of the Postmaster General is available online HERE.