USPS funding: Sen. Durbin pushes for financial support as post master general notes challenges amid coronavirus pandemic

CHICAGO (WLS) -- In the shadow of the Loop Clark Street U.S. Post Office Friday, Sen. Dick Durbin issued a call to support the U.S. Postal Service financially.

"If we don't make the PO service work for the good of America and invest the money to make it happen, it will not only have an impact on our economy but our democracy," Durbin said.

Durbin and others urge the USPS to reverse operational changes to improve service and for the Senate to appropriate money to the federal agency.

"Everyone else needs help, what's to say that the postal service doesn't need additional help," U.S. Rep. Danny Davis said.

A meeting of the Postal Service Board of Governors Friday morning revealed financial challenges for the agency, as there is more demand for labor-intensive package delivery and increased absenteeism during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We remain on an unsustainable path; our current path doesn't allow us to pay our current bills, let alone new ones," Post Master General Louis DeJoy said.

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While all expressed appreciation for letter carriers, customers, now more than ever, say they need to be able to depend on mail service.

"It's hard for everybody," Beverly resident Rita Orosco said. "So I'm just hoping we try to stick together and make it work out, and it will."

And letter carriers are trying their best, according to Mack Julion, who spoke with Durbin Friday.

"Those who are at work, they're committed, they are dedicated, they're trying to do the best they can," said Julion, with the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Sauganash Dentist Charles Shulruff said inconsistent mail is causing financial problems for his business.

"As all small businesses and individuals, we expect checks, we're not getting 'em," Dr. Shulruff said. "Having a hard time paying our bills, plain and simple."

The U.S. Postal Board of Governors usually has a public comment period after their in-person meetings, but the chairman announced Friday there would be no public comment allowed on their audio-only meeting.
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