WASHINGTON, DC—Postal reform cleared another hurdle last month when the U.S. Senate passed its version of the bill by a voice vote. A conference committee will work to hammer out the differences between this bill and the House of Representatives version that passed last July.
Michael Makin, president of the PIA/GATF, hailed lawmakers for taking a major step towards modernizing the U.S. postal system.
“Senate passage of postal reform is a huge victory in the printing industry’s long quest for a major legislative overhaul of this country’s postal laws,” Makin said in a statement. “Large corporations and small, family firms, along with printing employees, customers and stakeholders, will benefit from this desperately needed modernization of the U.S. Postal Service.”
A key element of the bill, which would ultimately help stave off large future rate increases, relieves the USPS of its obligation to place more than $3 billion per year in an escrow account. It was the sole cause for the January 2006 postage increase.
Some retirement costs would be handed over to the U.S. Treasury, increasing an already high national deficit, which could prompt President Bush to veto the bill.