February 22, 2022
The Honorable Senator James Lankford
316 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Lankford and Staff,
We write knowing full well that you and our organization are aligned in our commitments to promote the principles of individual freedom, limited government, free markets, and traditional American values. The purpose of our message today is to recognize your strong work and introspection into the problems that have plagued the deeply indebted and dysfunctional U.S. Postal Service.
As you are aware, the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, of which you are a key member, last held a hearing with USPS leadership to discuss its finances and operations on August 21, 2020 as part of the 116th Congress.1 At that time, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy outlined the case for legislative action to reposition the Medicare program as a defacto financial backstop for addressing the Postal Service’s “unaffordable retirement payments,” given that the USPS has been encumbered by its “management strategy that has not adequately addressed these issues.”2 The Committee has not convened to consider postal legislation in 2022, nor in 2021.
As you are also aware, the House passed version of the Postal Service Reform Act (H.R. 3076) was subject to a clerical error during transmittal to the Senate, prompting an objection by your colleague Sen. Rick Scott on February 14th.3 With this motion, Sen. Scott further communicated how this postal legislation “does nothing to secure the future of postal workers and Medicare recipients or make the Postal Service more efficient.”
This should be of great concern to all legislators who espouse the values of responsible, accountable governance, and dedication to public service.
To this end, Sen. Scott also sent a letter to the Congressional Budget Office seeking clarity on the budgetary effects of H.R. 3076 in years ahead, along with requesting demonstration of fiscal impacts on the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, costs to the Medicare program, and effects on Medicare premiums.4. Such information was not sufficiently provided in the CBO’s recently released “Estimated Budgetary Effects” of H.R. 3076.5 The CBO’s initial findings were not subject to formal discussion in the House Ways & Means Committee, and the House bill was ushered to a full chamber vote three days later, on February 8, 2022.
Given your strong judgment, Senator Lankford, and your unique position in membership of both Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, and the Senate Committee on Finance, we respectfully call upon you to provide the requisite level of scrutiny that the current Postal Service Reform Act deserves. We urge you and your staff to exhaustively pursue all Committee measures that will allow for honest debate on a reformulated bill that is in the best interest of postal customers and American taxpayers.
Earlier in February, your colleague and Senate Finance Ranking Member, Sen. Mike Crapo, discussed the depths of the Medicare program’s fiscal distress and what that could mean for beneficiaries. Sen. Crapo stated: “Moreover, with each passing year, we are steadily moving closer to the Medicare Trust Fund’s exhaustion date, at which time the program will no longer be able to pay full benefits for our nation’s seniors. We must be thoughtful and cautious to avoid exacerbating the fiscal challenges we face.”6
In our evaluation, the Postal Service Reform Act will invoke significant harm on the Medicare program’s ability to rightfully fulfill its promises to Americans.
In closing, we have included with this letter our recent opinion piece published in The Oklahoman, “Does the Postal Service Reform Act address core problems?,”7 which highlights the lack of honest discussion around the bill. We recognize your unwavering service on behalf of Oklahomans and thank you for this opportunity to share our views.
Frontiers of Freedom
Letter to the Editor
February 4, 2022
A recent opinion article relies on faulty logic and omission of facts about the USPS (“Postal Service steps up to the challenge, needs Congress to deliver reform,” Jan. 12). The USPS lost $87 billion in recent years and carries $188 billion in debts.
The author omits his ideas for how USPS would address this problem. His preferred “Postal Service Reform Act” would set in motion the plan to slowdown mail delivery times for everyone and have the federal government conduct a $58 billion bailout. The proposed bill does nothing to fix the Post Office’s core problem: they ship packages for less than their true costs.
Hopefully Sen. James Lankford and Sen. Jim Inhofe can see that the Postal Service Reform Act is simply a bad deal for Americans and has no plan to help the USPS achieve financial sustainability.
– George Landrith, President of Frontiers of Freedom, Virginia
1 – “Examining the Finances and Operations of the United States Postal Service During COVID-19 and Upcoming Elections,” hearing, HSGAC, August 21, 2020, https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/examining-the-finances-and-operations-of-the-united-states-postal-service-during-covid-19-and-upcoming-elections
2 – “STATEMENT OF POSTMASTER GENERAL AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER LOUIS DEJOY before HSGAC,” testimony of Louis DeJoy, Postmaster General, United States Postal Service, August 21, 2020, https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Testimony-DeJoy-2020-08-21.pdf
3 – “Sen. Rick Scott on Senate Floor: Postal Reform is Needed; But it Can’t Be at the Cost of Medicare Recipients, Postal Worker,” press release, Office of Sen. Rick Scott, February 14, 2022, https://www.rickscott.senate.gov/2022/2/sen-rick-scott-on-senate-floor-postal-reform-is-needed-but-it-can-t-be-at-the-cost-of-medicare-recipients-postal-workers
4 – Sen. Rick Scott letter to Director Phillip Swagel, Congressional Budget Office,” February 14, 2022, https://www.rickscott.senate.gov/services/files/5FD84464-1455-4E95-9E31-96143650F647
5 – “Estimated Budgetary Effects of Rules Committee Print 117-32 for H.R. 3076, the Postal Service Reform Act of 2022,” CBO, February 4, 2022, https://www.cbo.gov/publication/57821
6 – “Crapo Statement at Hearing on Youth Mental Health,” Sen. Mike Crapo, February 8, 2022, https://www.finance.senate.gov/ranking-members-news/crapo-statement-at-hearing-on-youth-mental-health
7 – “Does the Postal Service Reform Act address core problems?,” George Landrith, Frontiers of Freedom, The Oklahoman, February 4, 2022, https://www.pressreader.com/usa/the-oklahoman/20220204/281728387922471