Maine Senate candidates call on Congress to provide USPS relief

Republican incumbent Sen. Susan Collins and Democratic challenger Sara Gideon agree Congress should pass a bill giving the United States Postal Service $25 billion in emergency funds. Visiting the post office and local businesses in South Berwick Friday afternoon, Collins called legislation she is cosponsoring with California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, essential. “Otherwise, the Postal Service has warned that they could be unable to meet its payroll in the first quarter of next year, and that would be devastating.” Collins said. In Augusta, Gideon heard from business owners who depend on the mail and veterans who rely on it for prescriptions. The Maine House speaker said she’s “very disturbed” by testimony given by U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy during a hearing by the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Friday. DeJoy said he will not replace mail sorting machines that have been dismantled, like the two at the Scarborough processing facility. Gideon said that makes postal workers’ jobs harder. “They are undermined from above by having sorting machines across the entire country and here in our state removed. That presents problems that could be insurmountable.” Gideon said. Collins also responded to DeJoy’s testimony. “I don’t agree with that. Scarborough is down two sorting machines, and I think that’s a problem But the candidates disagree on a 2006 law Collins cosponsored requiring the Postal Service to pre-fund retiree benefits 75 years into the future. On paper, that costs several billion dollars a year. “There is no question that law is root cause of where we are today. The Postal Service went deep into the red because of that pre-funding mandate.” Gideon said. “To blame the Postal Service’s financial woes on a 14-year-old law, where no payments have been made in nearly a decade, is a fiction.” Collins replied.The American Postal Workers Union wrote Collins to say her bill would “set the Postal Service on a firm footing.” The union local has endorsed Gideon in the race.

Republican incumbent Sen. Susan Collins and Democratic challenger Sara Gideon agree Congress should pass a bill giving the United States Postal Service $25 billion in emergency funds.

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Visiting the post office and local businesses in South Berwick Friday afternoon, Collins called legislation she is cosponsoring with California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, essential.

“Otherwise, the Postal Service has warned that they could be unable to meet its payroll in the first quarter of next year, and that would be devastating.” Collins said.

In Augusta, Gideon heard from business owners who depend on the mail and veterans who rely on it for prescriptions. The Maine House speaker said she’s “very disturbed” by testimony given by U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy during a hearing by the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Friday.

DeJoy said he will not replace mail sorting machines that have been dismantled, like the two at the Scarborough processing facility. Gideon said that makes postal workers’ jobs harder.

“They are undermined from above by having sorting machines across the entire country and here in our state removed. That presents problems that could be insurmountable.” Gideon said.

Collins also responded to DeJoy’s testimony. “I don’t agree with that. Scarborough is down two sorting machines, and I think that’s a problem

But the candidates disagree on a 2006 law Collins cosponsored requiring the Postal Service to pre-fund retiree benefits 75 years into the future. On paper, that costs several billion dollars a year.

“There is no question that law is root cause of where we are today. The Postal Service went deep into the red because of that pre-funding mandate.” Gideon said.

“To blame the Postal Service’s financial woes on a 14-year-old law, where no payments have been made in nearly a decade, is a fiction.” Collins replied.

The American Postal Workers Union wrote Collins to say her bill would “set the Postal Service on a firm footing.” The union local has endorsed Gideon in the race.