March 25, 2009
Postmaster General John Potter said Wednesday the financially strapped U.S. Postal Service will run out of money this year without help from Congress.
[efoods]The only lingering question, Potter told a House subcommittee, is which bills will get paid and which will not. He did say ensuring the payment of workers’ salaries comes first. But Potter also said other bills may have to wait.
Potter’s appearance came as the agency, which has lived on a reputation of serving through wind, rain and all sorts of obstacles, seeks permission to reduce mail delivery to five days a week. It also wants to change the way retiree health benefits are amassed to save money.
“We are facing losses of historic proportion,” he said. “Our situation is critical.”
The Postal Service was $2.8 billion in the red last year and is facing even larger losses this year due to a sharp decline in mail volume in the weak economy. Potter broached the possibility of cutting mail delivery from six days to five in January, but the idea has not been warmly received in Congress.