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When contacted by the Free Beacon, one of the postal service’s unions would not comment on federal agencies using UPS instead of USPS, which is losing $25 million a day. Instead, the National Association of Letter Carriers spoke to the cause of the agency’s financial woes.

“The red ink people hear about has little to do with mail volume, the Internet, online bill-paying, or anything related to the mail. Instead, it results chiefly from the mandate by a lame-duck Congress in 2006 that the USPS pre-fund future retiree health benefits for decades into the future and pay for it all within 10 years,” said Fredric Rolando, president of the NALC.

Rolando said the mandate is costing $5.5 billion a year and accounts for “80 percent of all the red ink and 90 percent of the losses so far in fiscal 2013.”

A Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee spokesperson, when asked for comment on federal agencies using companies other than the Postal Service for mailing and distribution, sent the Free Beacon an email statement.

“While chairman [Tom] Carper [(D., Del.)] believes that the postal service should have the freedom and flexibility it needs to compete and succeed in the 21st century, he also believes it is important that the federal government use taxpayer dollars prudently and to that end he feels that federal agencies should have the flexibility to determine which shipping service best meets their needs in the most cost effective and efficient manner,” the statement read.

Update: This story originally attributed the statement from Sen. Carper to a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee spokesperson.

Mary Lou Byrd is a freelance writer whose stories have been published in The Revered Review, StreetAuthority, Trefis, and Area Development Magazine.