Accomplishing Postal Reform in the 115th Congress – H.R. 756, the Postal Service Reform Act of 2017

Full House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Full House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Hearing Date: February 7, 2017 10:00 am 2157 Rayburn HOB

TAKEAWAYS:

  • USPS is past the point where it is salvageable as it exists now – legislation is necessary to implement needed reforms.
  • USPS has more than $119 billion in unfunded liability, and is projected to run out of cash.
  • The postal delivery fleet is at the end of its expected life. Average age of vehicles is 24 years.
    • USPS is working with six suppliers for a new fleet that will be tested in the next 18 months.
    • USPS is awaiting responses for commercial off-the-shelf options.
  • All four of the major postal employee unions support H.R. 756, the Postal Service Reform Act of 2017.

PURPOSE:

  • To examine the need for timely and comprehensive postal reform legislation.
  • To discuss provisions that stakeholders believe are necessary in a comprehensive reform bill.

BACKGROUND:

  • USPS reported a net loss of $5.3 billion for FY2016, representing the tenth consecutive year of net losses.
  • USPS has more than $120 billion in unfunded liabilities, including a $21.3 billion pension funding shortfall.
  • USPS has been unable to make statutorily required payments to unfunded liabilities and is poised to run increasingly large operational deficits in the coming years, having already exhausted its $15 billion in statutory borrowing authority.

KEY VIDEOS:

Chairman Chaffetz (R-UT): “One of the choices that is before us is to do nothing, right? Just let her go, just keep on the same trajectory. . . from your perspective, do nothing, what happens?”

Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA): “Ladies and gentlemen, it’s the third quarter and you’re down by 25 points, and if Tom Brady doesn’t come in, you’re bankrupt. You’re beyond bankrupt, you’re in record deficit”

Government Operations Subcommittee Chairman Meadows (R-NC): “I’m willing to invest political capital [and] we have a number of stakeholders who are here as we are looking to truly save the Postal Service as we know it.”

Witnesses and testimonies

Name Title Organization Panel Document
The Honorable Megan J. Brennan Postmaster General United States Postal Service Document
The Honorable Robert G. Taub Chairman Postal Regulatory Commission Document
Ms. Lori Rectanus Director, Physical Infrastructure Issues U.S. Government Accountability Office Document
Mr. Arthur Sackler Manager Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service Document
Mr. Fredric V. Rolando President National Association of Letter Carriers Document