The Bill Passed by the House of Representatives Provides the US Postal Service With Funds to Relieve Budget Crisis Largely Created by Collins’ Legislation and Restores Cuts that are Affecting Mainers Access to Essential Mail Services
Portland, MAINE — Mainers are calling on Senator Susan Collins to push for passage of the bill recently passed by the US House of Representatives that would provide $25 billion to the US Postal Service (USPS) and require US Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to reverse operational changes, including removal of post boxes and sorting machines and the elimination of overtime, that have caused problems in mail delivery, which many Mainers rely on.
The current budget crisis, which DeJoy has cited as the basis for the recent cuts to USPS services, is due in large part to the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, which was sponsored by Senator Collins and requires the USPS to allocate billions from its budget to pre-fund post-retirement health benefits, which, as Maine Senator Angus King recently pointed out, is a burden that is not required for other agencies or businesses.
“Mainers need Susan Collins to take responsibility for her role in undermining the USPS and push Mitch McConnell to pass the House relief bill in the Senate. In other words, ‘you break it, you bought it’,” said Willy Rtich, executive director of 16 Counties Coalition. “The House bill has bipartisan support, and if Susan Collins is really serious about supporting the postal service, which so many Mainers rely on for everything from prescriptions to livestock, she should be advocating to pass this bill in the Senate.”
The burdensome obligation placed on the USPS by Collins’ bill has syphoned billions from USPS operations and led directly to the budget shortfall that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has cited as the basis for the recent cuts to USPS operations, which President Trump has in turn exploited for political gain, threatening to withhold funding to limit access to mail-in voting across the country.
These cuts to operations are already affecting mail delivery in Maine, jeopardizing the health of the many Mainers rely on to fill a range of needs, from mail-order prescriptions, to livestock deliveries — in addition to expanded voting by mail due to the coronavirus pandemic. In sharp contrast to the financial burdens the bill sponsored by Susan Collins placed on the USPS, Collins also cast the key vote for the 2017 Republican tax cuts that provided private delivery service FedEx with a billion-dollar tax giveaway.
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About the 16 Counties Coalition
The 16 Counties Coalition is a year-long grassroots advocacy campaign aimed at amplifying the voices of families and working Mainers and encouraging Senator Susan Collins to vote in favor of the people she was elected to represent and defend. The campaign will mobilize members through small- and large-scale events, through digital action, and paid television, radio, and digital ads.
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