In letter, Senators air concerns that shift would undermine timely mail delivery if USPS goes into banking

Published 4:31 pm Monday, November 15, 2021

U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), with Senator John Boozman and others, today demanded the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) provide the statutory authority by which it launched a new banking pilot program, which the lawmakers consider a threat to mail delivery and a misguided attempt to federalize financial services.

Nineteen Senators signed a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy questioning the USPS authority behind its September implementation of a banking pilot program that includes check-cashing services.

“This untested program raises serious questions about whether these activities waste taxpayer resources without any commensurate benefit,” the Senators wrote.  “We are concerned that the pilot program exceeds the Postal Service’s legal authority and fails to comply with relevant regulations and procedural requirements.”

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The USPS launched the pilot program without notifying Congress, weeks before its October announcement that it will further slow service and increase prices in an attempt to fix its own notoriously poor financial footing.  The Postal Service logged more than $75 billion in losses from 2007-2019.

“Given that these losses occurred during a period of time in which the Postal Service was exclusively focused on mail delivery, it would be imprudent to shift attention and resources toward an area in which the agency lacks expertise.  It is essential that the Postal Service address this revenue shortfall by focusing on fixing inefficiencies with its mail delivery system, not pivoting to financial products and offerings with which the agency has no expertise,” the letter said.

Hyde-Smith is the ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, which has jurisdiction over the USPS.

Boozman led the letter, which was also signed by Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Ranking Member Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), and Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.),  John Kennedy (R-La.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-Kan.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), John Thune (R-S.D.) and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.).

Read the Senators’ letter here.