US Postal Service posts $1.57 billion loss

The Postal Service on Tuesday reported a net loss of $1.57 billion for the three months ending June 30, compared with a loss of $586 million during the same period last year.

While shipping and packages posted revenue growth of 18 percent, that was offset by a drop in revenue for first-class mail of 5.5 percent, due largely to the expiration of the exigent surcharge put in place to offset losses through the recession. The April 10 expiration of the surcharge reduced revenue in the quarter by about $450 million, and will lower revenue by about $500 million for the fourth quarter and by almost $2 billion a year.

This has many pundits highlighting the need for Congress to overhaul the Post Office. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), the top Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said the result is no surprise and is another sign that Congress must take action soon, when Congress returns from recess in September, to stabilize the “failing $1.4 trillion mailing industry.” Many feel that without congressional action, the Postal Service will remain unable to raise enough revenue to cover its costs.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has approved a measure and Carper wants to push legislation through the Senate. Carper introduced legislation nearly a year ago aimed at putting the Postal Service on firmer financial footing.

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