Bipartisan Postal Reform Bill Passes Through Committee

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Washington, March 16, 2017 | comments
Today, 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. The legislation is sponsored by Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), Government Operations Subcommittee Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC), Government Operations Subcommittee Ranking Member Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Rep. Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA), and Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL). Congressman Connolly released the following statement:

"After more than 9 years and many stalled efforts, leaders in Congress have come to a bipartisan framework for postal reform that will put the Postal Service on a sustainable path. Rather than dismantle the Postal Service, our bill will give it the authority and flexibility to thrive in the 21st Century."

Click here to view a summary of the bill. Click here to view notable changes from legislation introduced during the 114th Congress.

Background:
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


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