USPS Receives Billions in Financial Assistance and Requests More Help

Photo of author



After having over $100 billion in obligations relieved by Congress two years ago, the U.S. Postal Service is now seeking additional assistance to avoid a potential financial crisis that could impact mail delivery services.

Recent discussions between top Biden administration officials and representatives of the Postal Service’s major union, as well as meetings with key customers like Amazon, have highlighted concerns over delivery challenges, leadership issues, and financial instability within the Postal Service.

The ongoing financial struggles and operational challenges faced by the Postal Service have raised alarms among lawmakers and advocates who fear potential disruptions to essential services, such as mail-in voting, and other crucial functions performed by the agency.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and other top officials are scheduled to testify before a Senate hearing to address these persistent issues and concerns.

Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), chair of the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, emphasized the need for transparency regarding the Postal Service’s financial status and operational challenges during the upcoming hearing.

According to a Postal Service spokesperson, there are no specific legislative requests for additional funding from Congress; instead, the agency seeks support in implementing internal initiatives outlined in the “Delivering for America” Plan to ensure operational and financial viability.

Despite previous financial assistance, including relief from obligations and taxpayer funding for investments, the Postal Service reported significant losses in recent fiscal years and projects further financial challenges in the near future, deviating from its restructuring plan’s targets.

The agency acknowledged concerns about meeting legal obligations, debt repayment, and necessary infrastructure investments within its latest financial report, indicating potential liquidity constraints.

While the Postal Service has made some financial progress, it recognizes the continued challenges ahead in cost reduction and revenue generation to ensure long-term sustainability.

Amid financial difficulties, the Postal Service has implemented price hikes on mail products, leading to increased costs for consumers, alongside declining on-time delivery rates.

Recent data shows a significant percentage of first-class mail deliveries have been delayed, highlighting operational challenges that need to be addressed to meet service standards and customer expectations.


Q: Why does the USPS need more financial aid?

A: The USPS is facing financial challenges and operational difficulties that require additional assistance to maintain its services and address ongoing issues.

Q: What initiatives is the Postal Service focusing on?

A: The Postal Service aims to implement key initiatives outlined in the “Delivering for America” Plan to enhance operational efficiency and financial sustainability.

Q: What are the concerns raised by lawmakers and advocates?

A: Concerns include potential disruptions to essential services like mail-in voting, declining on-time delivery performance, and overall financial instability within the Postal Service.In a recent valuable period, a certain percentage of mail was delivered on time in the bustling city of Atlanta. It illustrates the challenges faced by the Postal Service. Three esteemed House members, namely Reps. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), Mark Alford (R-Mo.), and Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.), took a notable step by introducing a bill in March. This legislation aims to ensure that the Postal Service compensates consumers for late fees incurred due to mail delays affecting bill delivery and payments.

Acknowledging the inadvertent service disruptions accompanying the rollout of new initiatives, the Postal Service issued a statement expressing a commitment to enhance its operations. The recent service disruptions in various locations such as Atlanta, Houston, and Richmond were attributed to operational management issues, employee attendance challenges, transportation scheduling gaps, and the transition from outdated operating practices to the required precision in performance standards.

These struggles pose a threat to the flourishing postal industry, which plays a significant role in reaching over 160 million addresses daily. Concerns have been raised by the service’s influential public-sector unions regarding the agency’s financial stability and the ability to support its extensive workforce of nearly 650,000 employees.

The Postal Service is designed to sustain itself financially through the sale of postage products, without relying on taxpayer funds. However, considering the ongoing decline in mail volume over the years, projections suggest that the agency could face a cash shortage within a three-year timeframe. This could potentially lead to service cutbacks or necessitate seeking a government bailout. Furthermore, the financial constraints may impede the much-needed modernization efforts, with reports highlighting the antiquated machinery still in use at processing plants and delivery trucks dating back to the 1980s.

To address these challenges and pave the way for capacity growth and modernization, there is a pressing need for strategic investments. Industry experts emphasize the importance of creating financial breathing room to facilitate the necessary network enhancements to adapt to the evolving postal landscape.

Given the urgency of the situation, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and stakeholders from the mailing industry and labor sector have urged the Biden administration to provide additional financial support. The request made to the White House seeks $14 billion in funding, derived from what the Postal Service claims are past overpayments into the Civil Service Retirement System. However, the agency estimates that it could be entitled to nearly $100 billion more to bolster its financial position.

The Postal Service envisions that a significant financial adjustment of this magnitude would greatly enhance its delivery performance, having a positive ripple effect on overall service quality. Despite the imperative nature of service performance, it is intricately linked to the financial realities that currently challenge the Postal Service.

President Biden has underscored the essential role played by the USPS in serving millions of Americans daily, particularly in rural areas, among veterans, and the elderly. The administration remains committed to supporting postal workers and enacting measures to fortify and modernize the Postal Service for sustained service in the years ahead.

As discussions continue regarding the financial support needed for the Postal Service’s stability and modernization, the agency’s long-standing quest to access additional funds tied to employee retirement accounts remains a focal point. Studies dating back to 2010 support the USPS’s claim of overpayments into accounts that should have been covered by the federal government. The potential value of this overpayment, as highlighted in a 2018 Office of Inspector General report, could be as high as $111 billion.


  1. What is the purpose of the legislation introduced by Reps. Sam Graves, Mark Alford, and Emanuel Cleaver II?
    • The legislation aims to compel the Postal Service to reimburse consumers for late fees resulting from mail delays impacting bill deliveries and payments.
  2. Why are the Postal Service’s financial challenges a cause for concern?
    • The agency faces a potential cash shortage within three years, jeopardizing its operations and modernization efforts, which could lead to service cutbacks or the need for a government bailout.
  3. What financial relief is the Postal Service seeking from the Biden administration?
    • The agency has requested $14 billion in funding, sourced from past overpayments into the Civil Service Retirement System, to address its current financial constraints and enhance delivery performance.
  4. What potential financial windfall does the Postal Service estimate it could be entitled to?
    • The Postal Service estimates that it could potentially receive an additional sum close to $100 billion, beyond the initial $14 billion request, to strengthen its financial position and support modernization initiatives.Recent interactions within the postal community have heightened tensions, particularly between Amazon and Postmaster General DeJoy. During an industry-wide meeting, an Amazon representative inquired about how the e-commerce giant could assist in securing funding and political backing for the agency. However, DeJoy firmly stated that he did not believe Amazon could offer any help.

The Postal Service spokesperson did not dispute DeJoy’s response, emphasizing that the agency cannot influence or suggest advocacy activities by external organizations, especially those registered for lobbying purposes. On the other hand, Amazon’s spokesperson, Scott Kelly, highlighted the long-standing partnership between the company and the Postal Service, expressing their support for initiatives aimed at enhancing the agency’s financial stability and operational efficiency.

While some trade groups within the mailing industry have traditionally advocated for the Postal Service in government circles, certain groups have been hesitant to support the agency due to reservations about DeJoy’s strategies and consistent postage rate hikes. A prominent industry figure involved in postal policy discussions voiced concerns about providing additional funds without clear outcomes, emphasizing the urgency for more immediate solutions rather than long-term timelines.

Overall, the relationship between the Postal Service and its partners in the industry remains complex, with differing perspectives on how to address the challenges facing the agency.


1. What was Amazon’s offer to help the Postal Service?

During an industry meeting, an Amazon representative asked how the company could assist the Postal Service in obtaining funding and political support.

2. How did Postmaster General DeJoy respond to Amazon’s offer?

DeJoy rejected the notion that Amazon could provide any assistance to him or the Postal Service.

3. How did other industry trade groups react to supporting the Postal Service?

Some trade groups expressed reluctance to provide unwavering support to the Postal Service due to concerns regarding DeJoy’s strategies and ongoing postage rate increases.

4. What are the concerns raised by industry leaders regarding Postal Service funding?

Industry leaders have raised concerns about providing additional funding without clear results, emphasizing the need for more immediate solutions to the Postal Service’s challenges.

Leave a Comment

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Share to...