- Texas woman admits to sending ricin to Obama
- Ron Paul on son Rand: ‘I think he probably will’ run for president
- Cold War heats up again in the Arctic: Russian airfield reactivated after 20 years
- 6-year-old boy suspended for sexual harassment over kiss
- Voters deciding Mass. congressional contest
- Holiday cheer: Airline grants Christmas wishes for 250 unsuspecting passengers
- U.S. vet held in North Korea says statement was coerced
- NTSB hearing on San Francisco airliner crash postponed
- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford insists he has dried out, vows sobriety test
- Greenpeace video warns that climate change is wrecking Santa’s home
Postmaster’s pay to be probed
Congress will hold a hearing next month into why Postmaster General John E. Potter has gotten a nearly 40 percent pay raise since 2006 and was awarded a six-figure incentive bonus last year, even as the U.S. Postal Service faces a multibillion-dollar shortfall that threatens a day of mail delivery.
“Last year, the Postal Service took a loss of nearly $3 billion and recommended that the public take austere cuts in service to allow it to operate, including cutting a day of mail delivery and raising the price of stamps,” Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, Massachusetts Democrat, said Friday.
“All things considered, I think most postal customers feel that the huge increase in pay for Mr. Potter is incongruent with the post office’s recent performance. I assure you that our subcommittee will look into this matter at a hearing in March,” said Mr. Lynch, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee that oversees the Postal Service.
On Tuesday, The Washington Times reported that Mr. Potter had received nearly 40 percent in pay raises since 2006 and about $135,000 in incentive bonuses last year. For fiscal 2008, including increases to the value of his two pensions, Mr. Potter’s entire compensation package totaled more than $800,000, according to Postal Service financial records.
The subcommittee on the federal work force, Postal Service and the District of Columbia will take up the issue at a hearing set for March 25. In addition to executive compensation, members will review the Postal Service’s economic troubles and competitiveness, officials said.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, the subcommittee’s ranking Republican, said he, too, questions the timing of the big pay packages, given the Postal Service’s financial woes.
“On the surface it just doesn’t smell right,” Mr. Chaffetz said. “Rewarding people for performance is acceptable, but things kind of seem to be going in the wrong direction. I’m looking forward to that hearing.”
The Postal Service’s board of governors informed the Postal Regulatory Commission about Mr. Potter’s compensation in an annual financial filing in December. Six weeks later, Mr. Potter testified before Congress that the Postal Service’s worsening finances could prompt officials to cut a day of mail delivery. The Postal Service also recently announced a pending 2-cent increase in the price of stamps.
Mr. Potter said the Postal Service’s losses occurred despite cutting more than $2 billion and setting records for on-time delivery. He blamed the financial problems on a weakening economy, required health plan payments and increased use of electronic mail as a means of communication.
Among other top postal officials, Deputy Postmaster Patrick Donahoe got $600,026 in total compensation, more than half of which was an increase to the value of his retirement annuities. His base salary was $238,654.
Postal officials defend the pay packages, saying their counterparts in private industry earn far more money. The chief executive of FedEx, for example, earned more than $10 million last year, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
Gerald J. McKiernan, a spokesman for the Postal Service, said Friday that postal officials briefed the subcommittee last year. He said additional briefings on the compensation of top postal officials took place last week.
“It’s an educational process,” he said of the briefings. “We’re prepared for the hearing.”
About the Author
- Stung by defeat: SEC hires trial consultants
- Solaria? Solyndra? Feds bailed on promising solar company, lawsuit says
- Last call: State Dept. bought $180,000 in liquor before shutdown
- Federal prosecutors drop charges against defendants who disappeared
- Bankrupt energy company probed
Latest Blog Entries
By Tom Fitton
New photos confirm the attack's coordination and its cover-up
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whiskey: U.K.-born expert
- FITTON: A closer look at the Benghazi lie
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- PRUDEN: Waiting for Nelson Mandela without the tears
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- Troops forced to rely on welfare, holiday charity
- Obama shakes hands with Cuba's Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela's funeral
- Oregon fails to sign up single person on health care website as states struggle
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
News and opinion from a Millennial Urbanite with Southern sensibilities,
Notes from a running nerd: musings and more on all things running.
NFL junkie Eric Golub reports on his favorite obsession. There is no football offseason. Every February he pretends to care about other sports while sobbing uncontrollably each Sunday until September.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow