Tester Introduces Bill to Provide $25 Billion in Emergency Assistance to Postal Service
Senator’s bipartisan legislation requires agency to establish plan for long-term solvency
As the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) faces severe declines in mail volume, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today introduced bipartisan legislation to provide $25 billion in emergency assistance to help the agency recoup pandemic related losses and other operational expenses.
The USPS provides critical services to Montana’s rural communities, and Sidney is home to the longest rural postal route in the country
“The fact is, post office closures, price increases or other reductions in service as a result of this pandemic would be devastating for Montanans who need the Postal Service for medicine delivery, distribution of benefits, and other critical services,” said Tester “We cannot allow that to happen, and the bipartisan legislation I’m introducing today will help the USPS right the ship so that the agency’s 2,100 Montana employees can continue to serve folks across our state every day.”
Tester’s Postal Service Emergency Assistance Act also requires the Postmaster General and Board of Governors to transmit to Congress a plan to ensure the long-term solvency of the Postal Service. In order to receive the $25 billion in emergency funds, the USPS is required to certify these funds are necessary to cover losses or expenses resulting from COVID-19, and prioritize the purchase of personal protective equipment for employees as well as additional cleaning and sanitizing of USPS facilities and vehicles.
Additionally, Senator Tester this week introduced a Senate resolution outlining the importance of the U.S. Postal Service and urging increased funding in the next COVID-19 relief package to help the key agency offset losses incurred due to the pandemic. The resolution makes clear that the USPS should not be forced to reduce its services, close post office facilities, or excessively raise rates.
Born and raised in a town of fewer than 1,000 people, Tester has long been a champion in maintaining full USPS services in rural communities. Last month, he sent a letter to Senate leadership urging them to make significant emergency investments in the USPS a part of any new coronavirus aid package as well as to provide support and protective equipment for the agency’s employees. Tester also fought to secure a $10 billion loan in the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.