The Hon. Carolyn Maloney The Hon. James Comer
Chairwoman Ranking Member
Committee on Oversight and Reform Committee on Oversight and Reform
U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515 Washington, DC 20515
Dear Madam Chairwoman and Ranking Member Comer:
The undersigned organizations write in strong support of your bill, the Postal Service Reform Act, HR 3076. The goals it would accomplish are vital to the future of the postal system and we urge that it be given Floor time as quickly as possible. We also want to thank each of you for your leadership on this crucial measure, and your colleagues for their support.
We are all part of the huge industry that is reliant upon the Postal Service. In 2019, as you know, the industry collectively generated some $1.6 trillion in revenues and employed approximately 7.3 million workers. From the perspective of mailers, shippers and our supply chain, there is much to recommend in your bill, but two changes would be pivotal: 1) repealing the mandatory prefunding of retiree health benefits and integrating postal retirees not already enrolled into Medicare; and 2) codifying the requirement for six days of delivery and an integrated network for both mail and packages. They would be very important steps toward stabilizing the Postal Service financially and encouraging confidence in its delivery system.
While we wholeheartedly encourage moving ahead with your bill, there remains unfinished business on ensuring a stable, predictable and certain postal system. The ability to impose rate increases at multiples of inflation granted by the Postal Regulatory Commission, and now put into place by the Postal Service, threatens small businesses, nonprofits and charities, community newspapers, and many others around the country. Larger businesses are already planning to divert more mail out of the system. And the resultant loss of mail will put more pressure on packages to sustain the network, leading to larger rate increases for them and impacting the Postal Service’s competitiveness.
Further, the slowing of First-Class Mail service will have a dampening effect on its use and, in particular, is a serious concern for mail containing remittances to businesses of all sizes. Periodicals can also ill afford slower service. The result of these excessive rate increases coupled with service slowdowns will be to make the Postal Service’s projection of a major drop in mail volume a self-fulfilling prophecy. At a time when the public’s confidence in USPS has badly eroded, deliberately downgrading mail is counterproductive and not in the public interest.
Circumstances underlying the Commission’s decision to allow above-inflation rate increases have dramatically changed since it closed its record in March of 2020: USPS financial performance is much improved due to higher package volume and a rebound in mail; and Congress granted the Service $10 billion in COVID relief. Now, your bill would reduce USPS financial liabilities by tens of billions of dollars.
Enacting your bill is essential, but please consider additional action to address the serious consequences of these rate increases and service reductions, and ensure that the Commission assesses the impact of your legislation and the other factors boosting USPS’ financial outlook.