Oversight Committee Approves Postal Reform Act
WASHINGTON – The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today approved H.R. 2748, the Postal Reform Act of 2013, on a vote of 22-17.
“I appreciate all of the amendments offered to improve this legislation today,” said Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., sponsor of the legislation. “The Committee has adopted a bill with broad input from all stakeholders that would bring USPS back to financial solvency with cost-cutting reforms and innovative new sources of revenue.”
Among the cost-cutting reforms is a provision that would move many older “door-slot” delivery units toward curbside delivery mailboxes and, where appropriate, neighborhood boxes. “Door-slot” delivery costs USPS, on average, $353 per unit per year. Delivery to curbside mailboxes cost USPS $224 per unit per year. This transition would save over $4 billion annually.
“This bill is a huge step towards a financially sound 21st century Postal Service that meets the needs of America,” said Subcommittee Chairman Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, a cosponsor of the legislation. “It improves efficiency, right-sizes operations, and will keep the taxpayers off the hook for a massive bailout.”
“The postal service is hemorrhaging money at a rate of $25 million a day,” said Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., cosponsor of the legislation. “Maintaining the status quo is not an acceptable solution to this growing problem. The Postal Reform Act of 2013 enacts common-sense, bipartisan solutions that will meet our nation’s changing needs and help save our postal service.”
The Committee adopted several amendments at today’s markup.
- An amendment offered by Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., to ensure that local communities had specific input into the delivery point modernization process.
- Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga., offered an amendment to limit the size of non-cash compensation to very senior postal executives until the financial crisis is resolved.
- An amendment offered by Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, chairman of the postal reform subcommittee and cosponsor of the legislation, to ensure USPS adheres to generally accepted accounting principles in developing plans to return USPS to solvency.
- Amendments offered by Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, which encourage the increased use of innovative mailpiece design as a way to spur the increased use of mail.
“While I am disappointed that my Democratic friends chose not to support the Postal Reform Act despite the incorporation of many of their ideas into the introduced version legislation and the moderation of many provisions originally in the legislation, I will continue to work with the Ranking Member and his colleagues,” said Chairman Issa.
Issa continued: “However, legislation that does not include cost-cutting measures or adopts provisions that would force USPS to be frozen at its current size in perpetuity will only further harm the agency as America’s reliance on paper mail continues to fade.”
Despite more than a dozen amendments being offered, no amendment was offered with the goal of baring the Postal Service from implementing its modified six-day delivery plan. Ranking Member Cummings offered an amendment as a full substitute bill which included a study on the provision.