Congress, Cuba and the Postal Service

In the midst of a financial crisis within the US Postal Service more legislation continues to mount, that if passed, may put further stress on an already troubled business.

“Even with our aggressive cost-cutting measures, our situation is critical,” said Postmaster General John E. Potter.

With a $2.8 billion net loss and mail volume running 12 percent below 2008 levels, two pieces of legislation have been introduced that will affect the Postal Service if passed.

Congressman Jose E. Serrano of New York introduced HR 188 into the House of Representatives on the first day of this current Congressional session, January 6, 2009. The bill, titled “Cuba Reconciliation Act” has a section specifically written for the faltering Postal Service.

The United States Postal Service shall take such actions as are necessary to provide direct mail service to and from Cuba, including, in the absence of common carrier service between the 2 countries, the use of charter providers.

Democratic Congressman Jose E. Serrano of New York, born in 1943, has served in Congress since 1990.

Congressman Serrano serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government. The chairmanship allows Congressman Serrano to lead the subcommittee, which oversees the budgets of multiple agencies, including the Treasury Department including the IRS; the FDIC; the District of Columbia; the judicial branch, and other agencies.

Serrano is a strong supporter of a bi-lingual America.

Congressman Charles Rangel of New York introduced HR 1530 into the House of Representatives on March 16, 2009. The bill, titled “Free Trade With Cuba Act” also has a section specifically written for the faltering Postal Service. Interestingly, the wording specific to the USPS is exactly the same.

The United States Postal Service shall take such actions as are necessary to provide direct mail service to and from Cuba, including, in the absence of common carrier service between the 2 countries, the use of charter providers.

Democratic Congressman Charles Rangel of New York, born in 1930, has served in Congress since 1971. This year marks his 20th term in the House of Representatives.

He’s better known for the alleged failure to pay 20 years of taxes on a Caribbean rental villa. Congressman Rangel is chairman of the Congressional committee that writes the nation’s tax code. Read more here

In the days to come, more legislation, which, if enacted, could affect the profitability of the Postal Service will be covered.

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