Our country struggles to withstand the public health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 virus. This pandemic threatens the very survival of the USPS, yet postal employees are on the front-line providing an essential service to the public every day. 

The current administration refuses to provide the necessary financial relief that would strengthen the agency during this pandemic. The postal service must not be allowed to fail. We must do everything we can to help the Postal Service thrive, not only for the men and women of the postal service but the community and businesses we serve during this critical time. 

The elderly rely on the United States Postal Service to deliver their medication and medical supplies, allowing them to stay at home for safety. Small businesses rely on the US Postal Service to survive and prosper. On behalf of more than 200,000 letter carriers across this country, that work every day to support 1.6 trillion mailing industries that employ nearly 7 million private sector workers, we respectfully request that financial relief be included for the postal service in the next COVID-19 relief package.

Although the postal service has not needed taxpayer support in decades, it is now facing an unprecedented crisis. Letter carriers have been on the front line of this pandemic, delivering mail and essential items to American homes and businesses at a big level. Although package revenue has temporarily surged, mail volume losses from COVID-19 are likely to equal $5 billion this year and at least $10 billion next year. 

Additionally, operating costs have significantly increased due to COVID-19 and quarantine-related leave, and retrofitting measures for 30,000 post offices and facilities and the cost of personal protective equipment and sanitizing supplies for 600,000 employees. Just as Congress is taking steps to ensure that this country’s schools, small businesses, hospitals and essential agencies can weather this difficult time, we must ensure that the US Postal Service and its universal delivery effort remains fully operational and financially healthy. 

Thanks you, Congressman Cuellar for supporting us. 

Editor’s Note: The above commentary by Luis Palacios was made at a news conference hosted by Congressman Henry Cuellar at the Laredo Veterans Post Office on Tuesday, August 18, 2020. Palacios is District 5 Representative for the Texas Association of Letter Carriers. This district includes Del Rio, New Braunfels, San Antonio, Victoria, Corpus Christi, Credo, McAllen and Brownsville. The news conference was held by Cuellar to push for more funding for the US Postal Service.

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