On Wednesday, a bipartisan group of senators filed a bill aimed to improve the management of the troubled US Postal Service. Called the Postal Service Reform Act, the legislation will help ease the financial stress of the agency. In addition, it will also require tightened accountability for its mail delivery services.
Enough Votes To Pass
Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Rob Portman (R-OH), who both head the Senate Homeland and Governmental Affairs Committee, jointly filed the bill. They believe that the legislation has enough bipartisan support to secure enough votes for passage.
A total of nine Republicans signed on as co-sponsors. Adding this and Portman’s vote to the Democrat vote of 50 members can secure its passage and avoid a filibuster. Proponents of the bill believe they can get more GOP senators to sign off on the bill. If this happens, it makes the Postal Services Reform Bill the closest thing Congress did to a postal overhaul in more than a decade.
Savings And Mail Delivery Dashboard
The bill proposes to repeal $5 billion a year in mandatory retiree health-care expenses. Instead, it requires future postal service retirees to enroll in Medicare. When implemented, the measure will save the USPS around $30 billion over the next ten years. Meanwhile, a similar bill in the House already secured approval among representatives.
The bill will also require the USPS to develop a public dashboard that displays the agency’s performance metrics per zip code. By accessing the website, the public can view the Postal Service’s actual on-time delivery statistics on a weekly basis.
Returning USPS To Sustainable Levels
Senator Peters issued a statement in support of the Postal Service Reform Act. “Millions of Americans and Michiganders, including seniors, veterans, and small business owners, rely on the Postal Service to deliver. For decades, the Postal Service has struggled to overcome unfair and burdensome financial requirements that risk its ability to continue providing reliable service in the long run. This commonsense, bipartisan legislation would help put the Postal Service on a sustainable financial footing, ensure it is more transparent and accountable to the American people, and support hardworking postal workers who deliver rain or shine to communities all across the country,” it read.
The legislation offers a resolution to the ongoing problems of the USPS. The agency is on the dock for $188.4 billion in liabilities. At the same time, it has yet to meet its on-time delivery targets since it announced it last July. In between, the USPS dealt with increasing package volume, which is up 19%. The agency also suffered decreases in first-class and marketing-mail volumes, and pandemic-themed worker shortages.
Postmaster DeJoy’s Plan To Shift To Parcels
At the center of the USPS debacle is Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. Within his administration, the USPS received backlash over its election unpreparedness. worsening delivery service, and a controversial reorganization. However, he enjoys the support of the USPS governing board. He plans to slow USPS mail services and raise prices. At the same time, the agency will shift from paper mail into parcels. While the proposal foresees a drop in mail volume, the USPS can earn more from increased package shipments. Since DeJoy announced the plan, the Senate confirmed two Biden-appointed nominees to the board. Both members expressed opposition to DeJoy’s plan.
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