WASHINGTON, DC – Speaking in the Oval Office as he signed a new round of coronavirus stimulus measures into law, Trump called the US Postal Service a “joke,” and said it should raise package-delivery prices by four times. Trump threatened to deny a loan for the Postal Service if it doesn’t raise prices for delivering packages, calling out Amazon by name.
“The post office should raise the price of the packages to the companies, not to the people, to the companies, and if they did that it would be a whole different story,” Trump said. Critics quickly responded to Trump’s comments with warnings about how a price hike could impact both the USPS and consumers.
The Postal Service was lobbying for more relief in the $2.2 trillion stimulus bill. The House Democrats’ proposal would have granted the Postal Service $25 billion and forgiven $11 billion in debt. The service is facing a precipitous decline in mail volume and billions of dollars in additional losses as it operates during the pandemic, where at least 600 workers have tested positive for COVID-19. At least 6,000 are quarantined and 12 have died, according to Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers. Most have been concentrated in the New York area, among the areas that have faced some delivery disruptions.
“We are at a critical juncture in the life of the Postal Service,” Postmaster General Megan Brennan said in a statement. “At a time when America needs the Postal Service more than ever, the reason we are so needed is having a devastating effect on our business.” When millions of Americans are stuck at home or can’t work, Trump is demanding what is basically a tax hike on mail.”
Louis DeJoy, a NC businessman and major donor to the Trump campaign, will take over as postmaster general on June 15, 2020.