Bipartisan Postal Reform Bill Passes Through House Committee
WASHINGTON — March 17, 2017 — Yesterday, with a bipartisan voice vote, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved H.R. 756, the Postal Service Reform Act of 2017, as amended. Upon approval, the bill’s original cosponsors, including Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), Reps. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Dennis Ross (R-FL), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), and Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA), released the following statement:
“The Postal Service is in dire need of real reforms, and this bill puts it on the course toward financial stability. These desperately needed policy changes prevent a taxpayer bailout of the Postal Service and will save billions of dollars over the next decade. We are pleased to see this bill pass through committee and urge the House to follow suit as soon as possible.”
The bill, first introduced January 31, 2017, addresses unfunded liabilities of the United States Postal Service (USPS), makes reforms to keep mailing costs affordable for consumers, and encourages innovation, all without additional borrowing from the U.S. taxpayer. The Committee followed up on introduction in early February with a legislative hearing on the bill and the continued need for postal reform.
In May 2016, the committee held a hearing to examine the need for timely and comprehensive postal reform legislation. In June 2016, the committee introduced H.R. 5714, the Postal Service Reform Act. In July 2016, the legislation overwhelmingly passed out of committee.
What the bill does:
Makes USPS more efficient:
- Cuts Costs: CBO Score, Unified Budget Savings of at least $2.2B
- Streamlines and Secures Mail Delivery through cluster boxes for eligible businesses, voluntary residential conversions
- Strengthens Accountability by holding Postmaster General accountable for results
- Improves Oversight by having the Postal Regulatory Commission review postage rates, mail delivery performance
Keeps promises to customers, employees:
- Guarantees Pension Liability by making clear USPS is responsible for accrued pension liabilities
- Improves Employee Health Care by improving coordination of care through a USPS-only health care plan and Medicare integration
- Emphasizes Local Service Opportunities by having USPS provide state, local, and tribal government services at local post offices, reducing the cost of service and raising postal revenue
- Supports Rural Access by obtaining local community input on post office closure