With Postal Service at Risk Due to Coronavirus, Tester Urges Support for Vital Service & Employees

Senator: Critical agency “needed now more than ever, especially in our rural communities”

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today urged Congress to include significant support for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and its 630,000 employees in the next coronavirus relief bill.

In a letter to Senate leadership, Tester argued that the Postal Service is a crucial lifeline for millions of Americans, especially those living in rural and Tribal communities who depend on it to stay connected, and for the delivery of goods like prescription drugs. Tester’s letter called for a mechanism to pay down the agency’s current debt obligations, funding to protect frontline employees with personal protective equipment and reimbursement for sick and family medical leave related to the coronavirus.

“Throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, our offices have received an outpouring of concern about the financial health of the United States Postal Service and its ability to continue to serve the American public, as well as support for the agency’s 630,000 employees,” Tester and his colleagues wrote. “As you develop additional coronavirus response legislation, we ask that you include significant emergency appropriations to help the USPS survive this crisis.”

USPS has seen significant cuts to its revenue as mail volume has decreased in the face of the coronavirus, and the agency is at risk of running out of money as early as September of this year.

Tester continued: “The Postal Service plays a critical role in American society, and its services are needed now more than ever, especially in our rural communities where local access to grocery stores, pharmacies, and other vital services is often limited or nonexistent. Without immediate relief, the USPS may have to limit or cease operations, which would cause significant harm to Americans who rely on the agency for delivery of medicines, distribution of safety-net benefits, and many other critical services.”

Tester is a relentless advocate for the USPS and its employees, and has worked to reform the agency and hold it accountable to Montanans.

Tester’s letter is available HERE.