Magazines and the Mail
Postmaster General John E. Potter, in testimony before the Subcommittee on Treasury and General Government Committee on Appropriations of the United States Senate, requested up to $5 billion dollars. In the category of direct impact of the terrorist attacks, he estimated costs to be $3 billion or more. For revenue losses incurred, he is asking as much as $2 billion. Potter's testimony left no doubt that the Postal Service does not believe the ratepayers, such as magazine publishers, should bear the costs associated with the recent terrorist attacks. He emphasized that the USPS does not intend to raise postal rates before Fall 2002. Magazine Publishers of America (MPA) strongly supports the request for emergency financial assistance.
"Now more than ever, America needs a postal system that is safe, secure, and financially stable," said Nina Link, president and CEO of MPA. "We agree wholeheartedly with Postal Service Board Chairman Rider that, in the national interest, the Service should be made whole for the extraordinary costs it has been incurring as a result of terrorist acts. The Postal Service has the MPA's full support."
Potter's full statement is as follows:
Good morning, Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee. I appreciate the opportunity to meet with you today to discuss the unanticipated financial burdens that have been placed on the Postal Service as a result of the attacks of September 11 and the subsequent use of the mail as a vehicle for bio-terrorism.
I am extremely grateful that this subcommittee has acted so quickly to convene this hearing to explore our needs. Your willingness, both as a Committee and individually, to hear from the Postal Service says a great deal about your interest in protecting this basic and fundamental communications service provided to the American people by the government.
As you have recognized, the Postal Service is a critical element of the nation's infrastructure. It is the lynchpin of the $900 billion mailing industry that employs nine million people and is responsible for eight percent of the gross domestic product. It is the one element of our national government that has a daily presence in virtually every community in the nation - from the smallest towns to our largest cities.