President Trump took another shot at the cash-strapped US Postal Service on Friday, saying they should quadruple their rates before getting any coronavirus stimulus loans — and slamming Amazon for allegedly putting the service in the red.
“The Postal Service is a joke because they’re handing out packages for Amazon and other internet companies, and every time they put out a package, they lose money on it. So Amazon and other internet companies and delivery companies are dropping all of their — not all of them — but a big portion of packages into a Post Office, and the Post Office is supposed to deliver the packages, and they lose a lot of money ,” the president told reporters in the White House during the signing of a bill funding the latest round of coronavirus stimulus.
Trump also said that if the service doesn’t raise quadruple fees it won’t get any cash from a federal loan program to help the coronavirus battered economy. “If they don’t raise the price, I’m not signing anything,” he said, referring to possible loans to the service.
“The post office if they raise the price of the package by approximately four times, it’d be a whole new ballgame. But they don’t want to raise because they don’t want to insult Amazon, and they don’t want to insult other companies perhaps that they like. The post office should raise the price of the packages to the companies, not to the people, to the companies, and if they did that it would be a whole different story,” Trump continued.
Trump also said he would order treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin not to agree to give cash to the postal service.
“If they don’t raise the price I’m not signing anything, so they’ll raise the price so that they become maybe even profitable but so they lose much less money, OK? And if they don’t do it, I’m not signing anything and I’m not authorizing you to do anything,” he said, referring to Mnuchin and, apparently, to documents that wold OK the loans.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said earlier Friday that she was told that Trump had personally ordered that no money for the postal service be included in the current bill.
“They told me, it came right from the president: No money for the post office,” she said during her weekly press briefing.
The Washington Post on Thursday reported that the administration was considering using a $10 billion emergency loan as leverage to require the Postal Service to make changes to its structure and management.
Trump recently signed a law that allowed the service to borrow $10 billion from the Treasury Department, but they apparently won’t get the cash unless they play ball with the president, the paper reported.
The Postal Service, which doesn’t use taxpayer money and gets its revenue from the postal fees it charges, has been slammed by the decline in mail caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Postmaster General Megan Brennan said on April 9 that the expected decline in mail volume is expected to cause losses of up to $13 billion this year.
He predicted that the agency would not be able to continue providing reliable service and pay its more than 600,000 employees by September without help.