Keep US Posted Applauds US Senate Passage of Postal Service Reform Legislation
Keep US Posted, an alliance consisting of consumer interests, industry groups, newspapers, nonprofits and businesses, applauded members of Congress for passing the first meaningful overhaul of the U.S. Postal Service in nearly two decades. The bipartisan Postal Service Reform Act (H.R. 3076) passed the U.S. Senate Tuesday with a vote of 79 to 19, after advancing through the U.S. House of Representatives in February.
The Postal Service Reform Act frees the Postal Service from a 2006 law requiring it to prefund billions of dollars in retiree health benefits 75 years in advance — a massive liability which is treated as an obligation that must be met by raising postage rates. Instead, the legislation integrates future retirees into Medicare, into which postal employees have already paid, immediately generating nearly $50 billion and improving future fiscal stability for USPS. The legislation also codifies a six-day integrated mail-and-package delivery network, which ensures the Postal Service will be able to take advantage of critical economies of scale to keep reaching every address in America, no matter how remote. In addition, The Postal Service Reform Act modernizes the Postal Service by requiring the development of a public-facing, online dashboard updated weekly with national and local level service performance data—providing additional transparency and promoting compliance with on-time mail delivery.
“The U.S. Postal Service is the only courier that can and must deliver mail and packages to every address in America, and Congress has just ensured that it can keep delivering well into the future,” said Former Congressman Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.), executive director of Keep US Posted. “While the Postal Service Reform Act takes a fiscally conservative approach to keep USPS funded by postage instead of a taxpayer bailout, it will also reduce the need for sweeping rate increases like the ones we have seen recently. The legislation’s modernization of the USPS delivery network will keep it going the last mile six days each week, with added requirements to ensure better transparency and accountability.”
Yoder continued, “Congress has finally delivered for the Postal Service, the American public, and businesses large and small that depend on a reliable, affordable mail system. The Postal Service Reform Act represents a dedicated, multi-year effort by Reps. Maloney and Comer, Sens. Peters and Portman, and other key members of Congress, who all worked together with labor unions and U.S. Postal Service leadership, to keep America’s mail moving. While they are to be commended for this achievement, additional action is needed to ensure that the benefits of the legislation are recognized by the Postal Regulatory Commission in setting an accurate rate cap for mail products. Congress should also be prepared to consider additional legislation to keep ensuring the USPS can prosper in a dynamic economy and respond to challenges in the future. Passing meaningful postal legislation should not be a once in a generation event.”
For members of the media interested in learning more about the Postal Service Reform Act, former Congressman Yoder is available to discuss the legislation and how it helps preserve the nation’s mail network. To learn more, you can also visit www.KeepUSPosted.org/policy.
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