If Congressman Daines is sincere about helping Montanans, he should be working to help our Postal Service maintain its current level of service. This will require more than offering the advice that "it's clear that the United States Postal Service needs to find ways to get back on solid ground, but they should pursue a priority-based budgeting approach." (Feb. 17 Billings Gazette)
Instead of offering this meaningless solution, as a Republican, he should insist that the Republican-led, do-nothing, House of Representatives take up the bipartisan bill the Senate drafted last year to make the USPS solvent without cutting service or closing post offices.
Daines knows that the Postal Service was debt-free at the end of its 2005 fiscal year. What brought on its financial ruin? Almost all of the postal service's losses can be traced back to a single artificial restriction forced onto the Postal Service by the lame-duck, Republican-led 2006 Congress that passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. This legislation forced the USPS to pre-fund its future health care benefits to retirees for the next 75 years by putting aside billions of dollars to pay health benefits for employees it hasn't even hired. No other government or private corporation is required to do anything like this, and what better way for Republicans to get rid of another governmental program than to make it financially impossible to continue in business?
To help Montanans, Daines needs to put aside his Republican ideology and support our two senators in reviving last year’s bipartisan USPS Senate bill that stalled in the Republican-led House.
Terry J Hanson