WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, joined Committee Chairman Gary Peters (D-MI) and Ranking Member Rob Portman (R-OH) in introducing the Postal Service Reform Act of 2021. This bipartisan legislation would help stabilize and support the United States Postal Service (USPS) by eliminating unnecessary financial burdens and allowing it to better grow and serve its customers, while also increasing transparency, accountability, efficiency, and on-time performance.
“The United States Postal Service is an institution that does invaluable work for our communities,” said Senator Rosen. “I’m proud to help introduce this comprehensive bipartisan legislation which will assist the USPS as it expands and evolves to meet the needs of all Americans. This legislation removes an unnecessary pre-funding requirement, streamlines employee Medicare plans, codifies a 6-days-a-week delivery standard, and expands the number of services that the USPS can provide to communities, including hunting and fishing licensing. These changes will help the USPS as they continue to make a difference in the lives of Nevadans and Americans all across our country.”
BACKGROUND: The bipartisan Postal Service Reform Act of 2021 would:
- Eliminate an aggressive retiree healthcare prefunding requirement, which requires the Postal Service to set aside funds sufficient to cover future retiree health benefits for all its current employees, no matter their age. This legislation would replace the requirement with benefits funding based on standard practices in the private and public sectors;
- Integrate retiree healthcare with Medicare, allowing the Postal Service to fully coordinate with Medicare (as most large businesses do), reduce costs, and receive a return on its investment since all employees pay into Medicare.
- Together, prefunding repeal and Medicare integration create $45.9 billion in savings for USPS over 10 years.
- Require the Postal Service to establish performance targets based on its service standards (codifying an existing practice), and publish weekly service performance data on its website;
- Require the Postal Service to “maintain an integrated network for the delivery of market-dominant and competitive products.” Delivery must occur “at least six days a week, except during weeks that include a Federal holiday or in emergency situations, such as natural disasters;”
- Authorize the Postal Service to enter into agreements with state, local, and tribal governments to provide non-postal services that provide enhanced value to the public. This would allow USPS to offer new services in post offices that serve local needs, such as state hunting and fishing licenses;
- Require the Postal Service to submit a report every 6 months on its operations and financial condition, including progress meeting service standards, mail volumes, rates and revenues, efficiency of transportation, enhancing employee training, changes to the network, capital investments, and the use of new services (such as the package services for businesses outlined in the 10-year plan);
- Require the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) to review its cost attribution guidelines (how overhead costs are allocated to each product) to determine whether revisions are appropriate;
- Require USPS to study inefficiencies in processing flats and how these affect the costs attributed to flats. It must then develop a plan to remedy any identified inefficiencies, to the extent practicable, or explain why it cannot;
- Expand the special rate for within-county newspaper samples, allowing newspapers to send more copies to non-subscribers (at a special low rate) than they currently can; and
- Require the USPS Inspector General (IG) to also function as the IG for the PRC. The PRC currently has a separate IG. Consolidating the IGs’ oversight and expertise would allow better and more efficient oversight of the entire USPS governance mechanism.