U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe has said that the United States Postal Service will default on its obligations to the federal government on September 30, at the end of the current fiscal year.
Now the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has launched SavingThePostalService.com to educate the public about the Postal Service’s financial troubles and some possible solutions. The Postal Service lost $8.5 billion in the last fiscal year. (RELATED: Issa spokesman: NYT burying Fast and Furious story shows bias)
It is not clear what will happen if the Postal Service does default. Oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, Republican from California, and other committee members have said the result will likely be a taxpayer bailout.
In a video to introduce the new website, Oversight drives this point home, pointing to the parallels between USPS’s financial situation and that of banks and car makers which ultimately received government bailouts.
“An American icon is broke,” begins the video’s narrator. “Done in by decades of lavish spending. Defeated by new technology. Booming last century, it’s bleeding money today. Customers flee. It begs for a government bailout. The collapsing clunker: not a car make, not a bank. It’s the United States Postal Service: out of money, and almost out of time. But not out of options.”
In June, Issa and Florida Republican Rep. Dennis Ross introduced the Postal Reform Act of 2011, which would restructure the Postal Service’s finances and business model in order to save it from financial ruin.
The new website provides information about that plan along with a countdown clock to the USPS’s September 30 default deadline.
“The USPS is fast-approaching default and without serious reforms it will collapse and be unable to meet payroll as early as next year,” Issa said. “The American people will not accept the bailout of yet another failing institution which is why Congress must act to put the Postal Service on a sustainable course.”