Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., proposed a “progressive pen-pal program” in August 2020 to save the U.S. Postal Service — but eight months later, there’s no sign of the program.
“So one of the best ways to support the post office is to buy stamps,” Ocasio-Cortez said in an Instagram video in 2020. “What do you all think, would you guys be down and excited if I set up a national progressive pen-pal program?”
She said she would “do all the work of connecting you to somebody else,” come up with “conversation prompts,” and possibly a postcard format.
Social media users were quick to mock Ocasio-Cortez’s idea for various reasons, such as the environmental effect of encouraging people who are already using digital communication to use more paper. Ocasio-Cortez and some of her fellow Democrats reintroduced their Green New Deal legislation this week.
Ocasio-Cortez does not appear to have brought her pen pal idea into fruition. A few months after she posed the question, the USPS reported its fiscal year 2020 results, which Postmaster General Louis DeJoy described as “significant financial imbalances” including a nearly $2 billion increase in operating revenue.
“Transportation expenses grew by $630 million, primarily due to increased package volumes and the limited availability of commercial air transportation due to the pandemic, which necessitated shifts to higher-cost modes of transportation,” USPS said in a news release. “Furthermore, the pandemic significantly increased the Postal Service’s expenses for supplies and services, such as personal protective equipment (PPE), to ensure the safety of its employees and customers.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., speaks during a press conference to re-introduce the Green New Deal in front of the Capitol in Washington on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
The USPS is in the news this week after news that the U.S. Postal Inspection Service monitors Americans’ social media accounts to identify potential threats.
Known as the United States Postal Inspection Service, it is an “elite police force” that “enforces over 200 federal statutes related to crimes that involve the postal system, its employees, and its customers,” according to the group’s website.
“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service occasionally reviews publicly available information in order to assess potential safety or security threats to Postal Service employees, facilities, operations and infrastructure,” a spokesperson for the agency said in a statement to FOX Business.
It added that the service includes both federal law enforcement officers and Postal Inspectors to help identify potential threats to the Postal Service, its employees, its customers and its delivery network.
Fox News’ inquiry to Ocasio-Cortez’s office was not returned at the time of publication.
Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer and Fox Business’ Brittany De Lea contributed to this report.