CHN: Postal Service Reform Bill Passes the House but is Delayed in the Senate
On Feb. 8, the House passed the Postal Service Reform Act (H.R. 3076) on a strong bipartisan vote of 342-92. The legislation eliminates the George W. Bush Administration and congressional mandate that the Postal Service prefund its retiree health care benefits decades in advance, a requirement asked of no other public or private agency. The requirement has unnecessarily crippled the USPS’s finances. According to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the new legislation permanently mandates six-day mail delivery, which has been required by temporary, annual appropriation policy riders since the 1980s. It would also integrate postal retirees into Medicare and would enable the USPS to offer non-postal services like fishing licenses that would bring in revenue.
Unfortunately, the bill has been delayed in the Senate because Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) objected to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) request to fix a technical error in the bill. Schumer has said he hopes to take up the bill in the Senate after the chamber returns from its Presidents’ Day recess on Feb. 28.