FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Thursday May 28, 2020
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The U.S. Postal Service is a lifeline for so many Americans, especially rural Mainers. Now, that lifeline is in danger of running out of money due to reduced mail traffic and increased costs during the Covid-19 pandemic. Independent Green candidate for U.S. Senate Lisa Savage pledged today to support full and continued funding for the USPS upon her election and called on her fellow candidates to make the same pledge.
“Living in Solon,” said Savage, “I know how unlikely it is that a private mail service would see the profit in bringing mail to my mailbox. Without the USPS, I would have to pay much more to simply get my mail. Rural Mainers -- all rural Americans -- would be gravely affected should the USPS fail. It is an American institution precisely because of the incredible value we all place in it. It must continue.”
Further, said Savage, the current pandemic makes the necessity of voting by mail through absentee ballot much greater for many Mainers, and Americans across the country, making a threat to the Post Office a threat to our very democracy.
While politicians from both sides of the aisle enthusiastically passed HR 6407, the so-called Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, in 2006, the Covid-19 pandemic has shown that HR 6407 has crippled the Post Office’s ability to survive emergency situations by forcing the USPS to fund 75 years worth of pension obligations, something no other business does in practice. Savage today commits to introducing legislation that would provide more flexibility for retirement funding for letter carriers and create a contingency fund that would allow the otherwise self-sufficient USPS to have rainy day funds for emergencies such as the current pandemic.
Ironically, Senator Collins this week called for Post Office funding in the next coronavirus relief bill, a step that would likely not be necessary had she not joined with her colleagues on both sides of the aisle to vote for HR 6407 in 2006.
“As Mainers are incredibly reliant on the Post Office -- for everything from prescriptions by mail to correspondence with family and friends around the world -- I would hope every senate candidate, every candidate for federal office, will join me in pledging their support for continuing the USPS in perpetuity,” said Savage. “Anything less should be very troubling for Mainers considering giving that candidate their vote.”
Savage noted that even The American Conservative has made the case for the U.S. Post Office, and some of its fiercest historic supporters have been conservatives who regularly preached “small government,” including Gerald Ford and Trent Lott.
“Surely,” said Savage, “Mainers of all political stripes can agree that our current Administration is deeply wrong in its desire to privatize the USPS and that we cannot allow a global pandemic to privatize a self-sustaining government agency by default. We must fund the Post Office now and for all time.”
Find information about Lisa Savage, her policy positions, background, and how to support her people-powered campaign at www.LisaforMaine.org.