Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, criticized a proposal last week from the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) inspector general to offer nonbank financial services to consumers.
In January, the USPS Inspector General’s Office released a white paper that suggested the postal service could generate $9.5 billion in additional annual revenue by offering alternative financial services such as prepaid cards.
Earlier this month, the postal service reported a $2 billion net loss for the second quarter, following $5 billion in losses in 2013. Last year marked the seventh consecutive year of losses for USPS.
The committee held a hearing last Thursday to examine innovative postal products such as digitizing mail items and allowing consumers to opt out of receiving junk mail. During the hearing, Issa told USPS IG David Williams that the financial services proposal was “reprehensible.”
“I am shocked that an inspector general would go from the waste, fraud and abuse and inefficiency to promoting a specific agenda, and I’m disappointed,” Issa said. “Notwithstanding that, the Post Office has every right to propose innovative activities, including postal money orders and other items, that some of which are historic within postal systems here and around the world. However, I would hope that in the future that you would be much more of an advocate…[for] everything that reduces cost and allows the post office to get to break even and be more efficient for its customers…”