Postal Service Legislative Update

Posted on: August 14th, 2012 by NADO Admin

On August 1, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) officially defaulted on a $5.5 billion dollar payment to the U.S. Department of Treasury toward retiree health benefits. The USPS stated the default will not have any immediate effects on the service’s day-to-day operations, but the missed payment will continue the growing debate over how best to address the agency’s ongoing financial problems.

Currently, the U.S. House of Representatives has yet to move the Postal Reform Act of 2011 (HR. 2309), introduced by Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Dennis Ross (R-FL). The measure, which cleared the House Rules Committee on March 29, would allow the USPS to end Saturday mail delivery, streamline postage rates and require postal workers to pay the same health insurance premiums as federal employees. It would also establish a financial control board to overhaul postal finances and establish a separate commission to recommend which postal facilities should be closed. It is unlikely that the House will vote on the Postal Reform Act before the November elections.

On April 25, the U.S. Senate passed the 21st Century Postal Service Act (S. 1789 (http://www NULL.cq NULL.com/bill/112/S1789)) by a vote of 62 to 37, which would bar the USPS from ending Saturday delivery for two years, places several geographic and economic restrictions on closing rural post offices, and restructures the pre-funding requirements for USPS retiree health benefits by replacing the current schedule of annual payments to the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund with a schedule of annual installment payments. Senate leadership has not indicated whether this legislation will be considered by the House.

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