Amid coronavirus shock, lawmakers look to save USPS from disaster

Mail volumes for post office have fallen 30%

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A group of lawmakers from both parties on Thursday sought to sound the alarm about imminent fiscal danger facing the U.S. Postal Service – and the need for immediate congressional action to keep it in business.

During a press briefing Thursday, New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D., said the postal service could go out of business as soon as Sept. 30 – the end of the current fiscal year – if it did not receive immediate financial assistance.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused mail volume, the postal service’s primary source of revenue, to plummet by more than 30 percent when compared with the same period last year. It is facing revenue losses of $13 billion by September.

Coronavirus-related losses could amount to $54 billion over the course of the coming decade.

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New York Rep. Peter King, R., asked lawmakers to put aside their “grievances” with the agency and support legislation to move an immediate $75 billion in aid.

“We can’t allow the postal service to die because of an agenda some people might have,” King said.

The lawmakers also announced their intention to form a bipartisan postal preservation caucus.

Some Republicans have been hesitant to extend a lifeline to the ailing agency, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

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President Trump has recently weighed in on the status of the postal service, calling it a “joke” during a press availability at the White House last week because it delivers packages for Amazon and other companies at what he considers a discount.

He suggested the courier should raise the price it charges to deliver packages for companies by four to five times.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he is working with the agency on a potential loan – which is likely to come with conditions – in the event it does need more money.

The Washington Post first reported the administration planned to leverage a $10 billion loan as a way to enact changes within the postal service.

Trump suggested as much last week.

“If they don’t raise the price of the service they give, which is a tremendous service … I’m not signing anything,” Trump said.

However, he later posted a tweet saying he would never let the postal service “fail.”

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King said on Thursday this is not the time for people who want dramatic change within the agency to be bargaining.

Trump has been critical of the agency for years.

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Fox News’ Kelly Phares contributed to this report.