The Trump administration is proposing to restructure the U.S. Postal Service. President Donald Trump says privatizing the agency would allow the postal service to increase prices, deliver mail fewer days a week and give it greater flexibility during today’s digital world. During a committee hearing this week in Washington about the proposed plan, Missouri U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill says the business model would result in one reality.
“The same reality that faced rural communities when it was time for them to get electricity—the same reality that faces rural communities when they need to get broadband. And that is, there is no business model that will provide the level of profit that that last mile of real estate requires,” McCaskill says.
The Postal Service has been asking for flexibility to increase prices and ease some of the burdens of its workers’ retirement benefits.
“And if you look at what’s going on in rural America right now, the hope for rural America is… the ability of rural Americans to participate in small business by online participation. So that’s why we spent so much time talking about rural broadband. But if you don’t have the delivery of the packages, … that is absolutely a big step backwards for economic vibrancy in our rural communities. There is no way a privatization model delivers the same level of service to rural America as they currently receive. … I know what privatization means for rural Missouri, and I will not go there on postal,” she says.
The American Postal Workers Union, which represents 200,000 postal workers, opposes Trump’s plan.
Earlier this year, McCaskill, a Democrat, joined a bipartisan group of Senators to introduce a comprehensive bill she says will put the postal service on firm financial footing, improve performance in rural communities, and allow for the development of new products and services.
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