About a dozen United States Postal Service employees stood outside U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp's Dodge City office Tuesday, trying to drum up support for a bill they say will save the agency.


     About a dozen United States Postal Service employees stood outside U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp's Dodge City office Tuesday, trying to drum up support for a bill they say will save the agency.
     Greg Martinez, a clerk who has worked at the post office for 18 years, said reduced use of the mail system isn't why the Postal Service is facing problems.
     "Everybody gets the idea that the Postal Service is going broke because of emails, because of the environment, because of the recession, and that's not true," Martinez said. "Congress mandated in 2006 that the Postal Service pay 75 years of health benefits for Postal Service employees retiree funds. They want to pay 75 years within a 10-year span."
     That bill is the 2006 Postal Accountability Enhancement Act. According to information provided by the National Association of Letter Carriers and the American Postal Workers Union, the law has cost the Postal Service $21 billion since 2007, which accounts for 100 percent of the agency's red ink.
     Martinez said there is a simple solution, but it will take the support of local representatives across the nation to make a difference.
     According to the National Association of Letter Carriers and the American Postal Workers Union, the 2006 law led to overfunding, causing the Postal Service's financial problems.
     A bill introduced by U.S. Rep. Stephen Luncy, D-Mass., called the United States Postal Service's Pension Obligation Recalculation and Restoration Act of 2011, would recover money paid under the 2006 law.
     And so Martinez and several other employees stood outside Huelskamp's Dodge City office, attempting to get people to sign petitions supporting the bill.
     A comment from Huelskamp didn't take a clear stance on the issue.
     "As always I welcome the input of constituents — letter carriers in this case — and appreciate that they took the time to come share their opinions at the Dodge City office," he said via email. "As with any piece of legislation, I look forward to questions and comments from all constituents in the First District."

Reach Mark Reagan at (620) 408-9931 or email him at mark.reagan@dodgeglobe.com.