Cocktails in the mail? Advocates call for booze deliveries, banking services to help save US Postal Service

The Postal Service's 10-year plan called to slow delivery from three days minimum to five days maximum on nonlocal first-class mail.

News 12 Staff

Mar 29, 2021, 7:50 PM

Updated 1,174 days ago

Share:

A new plan is being pitched to save the U.S. Postal Service, but it would call for higher prices and slower deliveries. Advocates have other ideas in mind.
The U.S. Postal Service estimates its losses last year alone were $9.2 billion, with $87 billion in losses over the last 14 years.
Ideas being tossed around by consumer advocates and some U.S. senators include the service being able to deliver alcohol and perform banking needs.
The ideas are getting mixed reviews, but at a time with such massive losses, advocates with the Save the Post Office Coalition say it's needed.
Specifically, they're looking for the post office to do things like check cashing and wire transfer, and join private carriers in being able to ship beer, wine and liquor.
Porter McConnell, of the Save the Post Office Coalition, says the services could raise $50 million a year.
"The Postal Service is the largest provider of money orders in the country, so it's a natural extension for the post office to begin to compete with those payday lenders and check-cashing institutions," says Rakim Brooks, of the American Civil Liberties Union.
The Postal Service's 10-year plan called to slow delivery from three days minimum to five days maximum on nonlocal, first-class mail.
Local American Postal Workers Union President Peter Furgiuele says she is not too happy with the 10-year plan, which also calls for shuttering some facilities and cutting back hours.
"The American Postal Union is not too happy with the plan, because the plan is too indecisive," he says. "No. 1, they want to cut back the retail hours. The retail portion of the Postal Service is people coming in through the lobby and buying the stamps. They want to close for lunch, what other business open 8 to 5 during the day closes for lunch? That's idiotic."
The union says instead, lawmakers should repeal a 2006 law that had the postal service pay into retirement benefits 75 years into the future.
When asked if the Postal Service would take on alcohol delivery, it said in a statement, "Federal law prohibits the mailing of alcohol, so it is something Congress would need to change through legislation. This has been an aspect of postal reform legislation in the past, as well as standalone bills, but hasn't been addressed in the current Congress."
Statement from U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
“Postmaster General DeJoy’s cynical plan to gut the postal service is wrong, both for the post office, including its frontline workers who showed up every day during this pandemic, and for the millions of communities it serves. Congress should act to fix the misguided benefits policy and actually expand postal services. We can expand post services by passing my legislation, the Postal Banking Act, which will provide tens of millions of American household access to basic financial services. Postal banking is an elegant solution that would provide USPS upwards of $9 billion a year in revenue, and would address the high cost of being poor in America by eliminating payday loans, check cashing, and other predatory financial products. The Post Office can help our underserved communities in multiple ways, acting as an anchor of rural main streets and urban centers, both of which have seen a decrease in access banks and an increase in costs to financial services. Instead of trying to gut USPS, an institution older then the constitution itself, DeJoy should recognize the unique opportunity it has to reach millions of working Americans.”


More from News 12