On January 20th, Joe Biden assumed the Presidency on the steps of the United States Capitol, just days after the riots and insurrection in Washington, D.C. Biden will take over the Oval Office at the end of Trump’s tenure, which marked four years of strife for USPS. The Postal Service began Trump’s presidency with billions of dollars in debt, and ended it in the midst of a global pandemic with crippling package volumes and historic backlogs in facilities across the country. However, hope is not lost. If all goes according to Biden’s plan, the next four years will provide much-needed headwinds for USPS at a time when the organization needs it the most.
During His Presidency, Biden Will Work to Eliminate the Pre-Funding Mandate and Lobby for a Cash Infusion for USPS
One of the main platforms that President Biden ran on was the clear intention to eliminate the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. When Congress enacted this legislation in 2006, USPS was on solid financial footing. However, this law forced USPS to pay billions of dollars to the Treasury each year, with those payments meant to fund the retirement and health benefits of employees up to 75 years into the future. Pre-funding payments were simply too much for the agency to honor and remain financially solvent, so USPS stopped making them. Stopping those payments, consequently, piled on the debt.
If President Biden stays true to his platform, he won’t just repeal the pre-funding mandate. He will also work to secure a no-strings-attached cash injection into USPS that Democrats lobbied for as early as March of 2020, when talks were held for the legislation that became the CARES Act.
Without Pre-Funding Legislation, USPS Would Have Been Profitable Each Year Since 2007
Interestingly, if USPS didn’t have to make such onerous Treasury payments to abide by the pre-funding mandate, it would have ended each fiscal year since 2007 in the black. In fact, the pre-funding legislation is the main reason for the billions of dollars in losses USPS has faced for the past 13 years.
With eCommerce booming year over year and therefore injecting a huge amount of packages into the network, USPS was primed for success in the digital age. However, the overwhelming debt burden has prevented the Postal Service from capitalizing on the eCommerce trend and achieving any sort of financial success, like competitors such as UPS, FedEx, and Amazon.
Of course, there are those who argue that the Postal Service’s main goal should not be profitability, but the commitment to affordability and universal service for the entire American people. President Biden is one who holds such an opinion. With him in the White House, America’s long-standing favorite government agency hopes to see better days…or to at least gain a trusted ally in the continued uphill battle for financial stability.