U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said the Postal Service bill, S. 1789, commits "generational theft" by violating budgetary limits for fiscal years 2012 and 2013 and adding $11 billion to the federal deficit. Corker voted against the bill, which passed by a vote of 62 to 37.
"A vote for this bill is a vote to add $11 billion to the deficit and a vote to break trust with the American people over the recently-passed Budget Control Act. Unfortunately, the Senate has shown in a bipartisan way that the American people cannot trust their elected leaders to stop the generational theft that is occurring. Hopefully, the House will be more principled in its approach," Corker said.
The U.S. Postal Service lost $5.1 billion in this last fiscal year, $3.3 billion in the first quarter of this current year and is facing insolvency by as early as this October. First class mail volume has declined 20 percent over the last five years and is expected to fall another 20 percent by 2020.
"Rather than removing the handcuffs and enabling real reform so the Postal Service can compete in the marketplace and serve communities that depend on it, this bill punts the tough choices to a future Congress and further hamstrings the Postal Service with more mandates that will put it in even worse financial shape. It even requires the USPS to provide certain services at a loss. By not allowing the Postal Service the freedom it needs to operate like any other business in America, Congress is merely hastening its demise and demonstrating how little leadership there is in Washington," said Corker.
Corker offered an amendment (#2083) to the bill designed to provide broad flexibility so the USPS has the power to make appropriate business decisions to reduce excessive costs and compete in the marketplace without excessive congressional interference. According to the Congressional Budget Office, Corker's amendment would have saved the Postal Service $21 billion. The amendment was defeated by a vote of 29 to 70.
"My amendment offered a balanced approach that would have saved the Postal Service $21 billion and provided it with needed flexibility as it works toward financial stability," Corker said. "The American people are losing faith in their elected leaders to actually solve problems that will help create jobs and grow the economy. It is time to unshackle this failing enterprise from government control over its business decisions before it's too late."