U.S. Sen. John Kennedy recently joined Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) and colleagues in writing to the postmaster general to condemn a U.S. Postal Service (USPS) pilot program that would introduce banking services into the USPS and undercut the agency’s ability to deliver mail quickly and effectively.

“The Postal Service lost tens of billions of taxpayer dollars when it was focused solely on delivering mail. If you think the USPS is inefficient now, wait until it tries its hand at banking and delivering mail at the same time,” said Kennedy.

Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), John Thune (R-S.D.) and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) also signed the letter.

“We are concerned that the pilot program exceeds the Postal Service’s legal authority and fails to comply with relevant regulations and procedural requirements. The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act generally prohibits the Postal Service from providing ‘nonpostal services,’ and requires the Postal Regulatory Commission to review any nonpostal service offered by the Postal Service,” the senators wrote.

“We are also concerned that entering into products and services unrelated to the Postal Service’s mission will divert necessary attention, time, and money away from the core function of mail delivery. Historically, the Postal Service has failed to effectively provide financial services and compete with private sector innovation. From 2007-2019 the Postal Service lost over $75 billion,” they explained.

“Given that these losses occurred during a period of time in which the Postal Service was exclusively focused on mail delivery, it would be imprudent to shift attention and resources toward an area in which the agency lacks expertise. It is essential that the Postal Service address this revenue shortfall by focusing on fixing inefficiencies with its mail delivery system, not pivoting to financial products and offerings with which the agency has no expertise,” the senators continued.

“Given substantial financial shortfalls, a mission-specific focus on mail delivery, and a history of unsuccessfully competing with private sector alternatives, we are highly skeptical that the Postal Service can safely and effectively provide financial services,” the senators concluded.

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