Comedian John Oliver is doing what he can to help save the cash-strapped United States Postal Service from going under.
Sunday, the “Last Week Tonight” host unveiled a line of stamps that are being sold to raise money for the USPS. On his show, Oliver said he and his team had been working with Stamps.com for weeks to launch the special stamps.
The assortment of stamps feature some of the characters who have appeared on the HBO show, including a free-spirited otter mascot named Chiijohn, a giant squirrel named Mr. Nutterbutter, a zebra mascot who directs traffic in Bolivia, and a stamp that says, “and now… a stamp.”
A sheet of the stamps cost $14. With the purchase of each sheet, $11 is paid to the USPS for the postage value itself and $3 is used for the production and distribution costs. The stamps are limited edition and will only be available until June 15, while supplies last.
While the money raised from the stamps won’t come close to the billions that the USPS says it needs, Oliver says he wanted to boost the agency’s bottom line with the key revenue generator.
Last Thursday, the USPS appealed to lawmakers for an $89 billion lifeline, telling Congress that it could run out of money by the end of September if they fail to act, The New York Times reports.
Officials say the coronavirus pandemic has also rapidly exacerbated the agency’s problems. As a result, the USPS projects its revenue will fall $13 billion short this fiscal year, on top of a loss of $54 billion over a decade, The Times says.
The postmaster general, Megan Brennan, told Congress that it would use the billions of dollars in bailout money to cover lost revenue and update aging infrastructure.
The funding has become a sticking point in Washington D.C. as lawmakers debate the next round of government relief. Democrats seem to be in favor of bailing out the USPS, but President Donald Trump is opposed. He’s been a frequent critic of the agency.
Below is Oliver's segment about the USPS. WARNING: The video contains profanity: