WASHINGTON – House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., today introduced H.R. 2748, the Postal Reform Act of 2013.
“The commonsense reforms in this legislation will restore the United States Postal Service to long-term financial solvency while maintaining high-quality universal service for all Americans,” said Chairman Issa. “The legislation incorporates reforms offered by members of both sides of the aisle and builds upon months of bipartisan and bicameral discussions.”
Issa released a discussion draft of the Postal Reform Act in June. The Committee received dozens of comments from stakeholders, including members of Congress both on and off the Committee. A list of changes incorporated into the introduced version of the bill can be found here.
The introduced version of the legislation incorporates elements of H.R. 2615, introduced by House Rural Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Adrian Smith, R-Neb., H.R. 961, introduced by Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., and H.R. 2690, introduced by Oversight Committee Ranking Member Elijah Cummings, D-Md.
Among the key updates in the legislation are provisions ensuring small and rural post offices are protected from disproportionate number of closures, creating a chief innovation officer for USPS, protecting existing collective bargaining agreements, recalculating projected liabilities for employee pensions, and offering additional relief from retiree health care benefit payments.
“Rural Americans and USPS employees have expressed concern that the burden of cost-cutting reforms will fall disproportionately on their shoulders. We have taken steps to address these concerns because there is no question these populations will be among those most severely affected by a financial collapse of USPS,” said Issa.
The legislation is cosponsored by Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, chairman of the Oversight Subcommittee on Postal Reform, and Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., who cosponsored the Postal Reform Act in the 112th congress.
“In order to protect the interests of those who rely on USPS, protect postal employees’ earned benefits, and prevent a massive and ongoing taxpayer-funded bailout, we must enact the substantial cost cutting reforms and revenue enhancements included in the Postal Reform Act,” Chairman Farenthold said.
“I believe that the continued viability of the USPS is in every American’s interest,” said Rep. Ross. “The Postal Reform Act will work to streamline and modernize the Postal Service to meet the needs of our 21st century economy while giving consumers as much choice as possible.”
H.R. 2748 is expected to be considered at a full committee business meeting on Wednesday July 24th. Full text of the legislation, highlights, and a complete section-by-section summary can be found at http://oversight.house.gov/PostalReformAct.