Latest News and Highlights

USPS Reports 2018 3rd Quarter Financials. On August 9, the U.S. Postal Service reported total revenue of $17.1 billion for the third quarter of 2018 (April 1, 2018 - June 30, 2018), an increase of $402 million, or 2.4 percent, compared to the same quarter last year. First-Class Mail revenue declined by $134 million, or 2.2 percent, and Marketing Mail revenue increased by $63 million, or 1.6 percent. Total mail volume declined by a combined 397 million pieces, or 1.2 percent, compared to the same quarter last year. Shipping and Packages revenue increased by $475 million, or 10.2 percent, on volume growth of 102 million pieces, or 7.5 percent. The net loss for the quarter totaled $1.5 billion, a decline in net loss of $651 million compared to the same period last year, the result of nonrecurring adjustments to retirement and retiree health benefit plans to account for revised actuarial assumptions. Excluding the effects of these adjustments, the net loss for the quarter increased by $507 million.

House Resolution Opposing USPS Privatization Introduced. On July 13, Representatives Stephen Lynch (D-MA) and Rodney Davis (R-IL) introduced a resolution calling on Congress to take all appropriate measures to ensure that the Postal Service remain an independent agency of the federal government and not be subject to privatization. As of this date the resolution has ten co-sponsors in all. Lynch's resolution comes in response to an Office of Personnel Management Report which endorsed the eventual privatization of the Postal Service. 

GAO Releases Report about USPS Capital Spending and Processes On June 28, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on the U.S. Postal Service's projected capital spending and processes for addressing uncertainties and risks. The GAO found that USPS has processes in place to help it identify the uncertainties that may affect its capital spending plan, and flexibilities that allow it to adjust the plan accordingly.

President Proposes Privatizing the US Postal Service On Thursday, June 21, the Executive Office of the President of the United States released a report titled:  "Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century: Reform Plan and Reorganization Recommendations".  Starting on page 68, the plan discusses privatizing the Postal Service. The summary states: This proposal would restructure the United States Postal System to return it to a sustainable business model or prepare it for future conversion from a Government agency into a privately-held corporation. Like many European nations, the United States could privatize its postal operator while maintaining strong regulatory oversight to ensure fair competition and reasonable prices for customers. The President’s Task Force on the United States Postal System will make recommendations on reforms towards this goal in August 2018.

Postal Reform Act of 2018 Introduced On Thursday, June 14, Representative Meadows (R-NC) introduced the Postal Reform Act of 2018. The bill is similar in intention to HR756 and has six co-sponsors including both Democrats and Republican representatives.

House Passes STOP Act On Thursday, June 14, the House passed the latest version of the Securing the International Mail Against Opioids Act (H.R. 5788) on a 353-52 vote. The legislation would bring requirements currently enforced on private shipping companies to the Postal Service by 2021, when the mailing agency would transmit advanced electronic data, or AED, to Customs and Border Protection on 100 percent of international packages. USPS, which currently only collects the data on 40 percent of inbound international packages, would have to pass on the information on 70 percent of packages by the end of this year. The agency would face civil penalties starting in 2021 if it continues to allow international shipments without AED to enter the country. Most foreign packages would face a $1 fee to cover the costs of additional customs processing. The House bill will now head to the Senate, where it already has bipartisan backing.

White House Announces Intent to Nominate Postal Commissioner On Wednesday, June 6, President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate Michael Kubayanda of Ohio, to be a Commissioner of the Postal Regulatory Commission for the remainder of a six-year term expiring November 22, 2020. Mr. Kubayanda serves as a board member and privacy officer for a digital health startup.   Michael previously worked with the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Postal Service, ending as director of government relations, in which he worked with OIG officials to support the work of inspectors general in data analytics.

USPS Releases 2017 Household Diary Study On Wednesday, June 6, the Postal Service released the 2017 Household Diary Study (HDS). The HDS, which USPS has produced annually since 1987, examines how households use the Postal Service, and how usage of USPS by households varies according to demographic and other variables. The HDS examines mail by the markets it serves. The survey collects household information on:  Volumes of mail sent and received; Demographics; Attitudes toward mail and advertising; Bill payment behavior and Use of the Internet and other information technologies. 

Report Revisits Alternate CSRS Payout Methods Responding to a congressional request, the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) has updated estimates of the postal portion of assets within the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) fund, using two different calculation methods: one proposed by the OIG and the other by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) in 2010. The OIG concluded that the current OPM method “is disproportionate,” while an alternate approach would more evenly divide responsibility and reflect modern accounting and actuarial practices.

PRC Evaluates USPS 2017 Performance and 2018 Performance Plan The Postal Regulatory Commission (Commission) issued its analysis of the U.S. Postal Service fiscal year (FY) 2017 Annual Performance Report and FY 2018 Performance Plan. The Commission’s review finds that, for the first time, the Postal Service’s FY 2018 Plan complies with legal requirements, and the FY 2017 Report meets most of the requirements. 

Senator Gillibrand Unveils Bill to Create a Postal Bank. U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced major new legislation to create a Postal Bankwhich would establish a retail bank in all of the U.S. Postal Service’s 30,000 locations. The Postal Bank would effectively end predatory payday lending industry practices overnight by giving low-income Americans, particularly communities of color and rural communities, access to basic banking services that they currently don’t have.

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