Oversight Committee Passes Legislation to Help Electrify the Postal Service Fleet, Support Government Efficiency
Washington, D.C. (May 11, 2022)—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, issued the following statement after the Committee voted favorably to approve legislation to ensure the Postal Service has an accurate environmental impact statement to inform its acquisition of Next Generation Delivery Vehicles, legislation to develop an artificial intelligence training program for the federal workforce, and other good government reforms:
“Today, the Committee took another step in leading the charge in Congress to transition the Postal Service’s gas guzzling fleet to electric vehicles. Our hearing last month revealed that the environmental impact statement—a key factor in the Postal Service’s decision of how many EVs to purchase—was ‘seriously deficient.’ My bill requires that the Postal Service produce a new EIS to more accurately inform the Postal Service’s acquisition of EVs. The Postal Service must use all available resources to maximize the number of EVs it purchases, and I am committed to doing everything in my power to make that happen.”
Oversight of the U.S. Postal Service and its Transition to Electric Vehicles
The Committee approved H.R. 7682, the Ensuring an Accurate Postal Fleet Electrification Act, a bill introduced by Chairwoman Maloney, to invalidate the faulty environmental impact statement (EIS) that the Postal Service filed as part of its contract with Oshkosh Defense to produce the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV), and to require the Postal Service to produce a new EIS before procuring any additional vehicles under the NGDV contract.
In a February 2, 2022, letter to the Postal Service, the Environmental Protection Agency stated that “the final EIS remains seriously deficient.” At the Committee’s April 5, 2022, hearing, the Government Accountability Office confirmed that the Postal Service used faulty estimates to determine how many EVs to purchase, including by underestimating the price of gasoline, overestimating the maintenance costs for EVs, and failing to fully account for the carbon emissions gas delivery vehicles will produce.
The Committee also approved H.R. 7674, the Ensuring Oversight Access at the Postal Service Act, a bill introduced by Government Operations Subcommittee Chairman Gerald E. Connolly to prohibit the Postal Service from preventing Members of Congress from visiting Postal Service facilities for official purposes.
Better Informing the Government’s Artificial Intelligence Use
The Committee also approved H.R. 7683, the Artificial Intelligence Training for the Acquisition Workforce Act, a bipartisan, bicameral bill introduced by Chairwoman Maloney and Ranking Member James Comer to establish a training program to better inform federal personnel about the capabilities and risks of AI, including ways to protect civil rights and civil liberties.
Increasing Government Efficiency and Security
The Committee approved legislation to increase the efficiency and transparency of the federal government:
- H.R. 7331, the Improving Government for America’s Taxpayers Act, a bipartisan bill that aims to improve implementation of recommendations from the Government Accountability Office to enhance government efficiency and save taxpayers money.
- H.R. 7535, the Quantum Computing Cybersecurity Preparedness Act, a bipartisan bill to require the Office of Management and Budget to create a strategy to protect federal information technology (IT) from the impending risks of quantum computing and to facilitate the risk-based migration of federal IT to post-quantum cryptographic standards once such standards are published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
- H.R. 6104, the Building the Next Generation of Federal Employees Act, a bill to establish a Federal Internship and Fellowship Center in the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to improve the process of hiring individuals who have completed internships in federal agencies.
Other Good Government Bills
The Committee also approved legislation to support first responders and the District of Columbia:
- H.R. 521, the First Responder Fair Return for Employees on Their Initial Retirement Earned (RETIRE) Act, a bipartisan, bicameral bill to preserve the retirement benefits of law enforcement officers who become disabled in the line of duty and are reassigned to a different position in the civil service that is not covered under the same retirement program.
- H.R. 7686, the District of Columbia Code Returning Citizens Coordination Act, a bill to require the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to provide information to the District of Columbia government on individuals convicted of felonies under D.C. law in BOP custody.
Additionally, the Committee passed several postal naming measures for Postal Service facilities across the country.