WASHINGTON D.C. – A bicameral group of more than 80 legislators from the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives in calling for adding lasting solutions to improve and protect mail delivery and service in comprehensive U.S. Postal Service reform legislation introduced in the House.
In the letter, which was led by Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kans.), Senators Collins and King pressed leaders of the House and Senate for better, more reliable mail service – which is often a critical lifeline for families and businesses across the country in both rural and urban areas. To address a significant decline in U.S. Postal Service performance – including a complete elimination of the overnight service standard – as well as mail processing plant consolidations and post office hour reductions, the senators and members called for improvements to the current postal reform legislation in the House so it would better protect and boost the reliability, accountability and transparency of the U.S. Postal Service. The legislators also encouraged the enforcement of improved mail delivery standards in part through continual review of affordable mail service options that will help keep the Postal Service strong for years to come.
“The Postal Service and its employees play a vital role in our nation,” Senators Collins and King and their colleagues wrote. “It is essential that we preserve the Postal Service’s commitment to the American public. For this reason, improving service needs to be a critical piece of any comprehensive postal reform bill, along with the needed reforms to return the Postal Service to fiscal sustainability. Continued poor mail service hurts rural America, businesses, and our economy. Congress should take action to preserve and protect the vibrant institution that is our Postal Service so it, in turn, can help our communities and families truly thrive.”
Together, the members of Congress are calling on congressional leaders to build on the progress of the current U.S. House of Representatives’ bipartisan Postal Reform Act of 2016, which would help improve the Postal Service’s financial condition. Additionally, the group is pushing for key provisions to strengthen mail service, improve delivery, and protect Postal Service customers, including:
· Making mail service and delivery more reliable – The Postal Service needs a performance target system to make sure measurements of mail delivery are accurate across the country in urban and rural communities through an in-depth classification system.
· Improving accountability and transparency at the Postal Service – Performance information must be published online and operational plans developed when mail service and delivery targets are not met.
· Boosting enforcement to make sure the Postal Service meets mail delivery and service standards – The Postal Service must take action to meet its operational plans and not be able to lower mail service standards to come into compliance with performance targets.
· Continuing to review the fiscal state of the Postal Service to help it remain solvent – Provide regular updates of a long-term solvency plan that would analyze the Postal Service’s finances and make recommendations regarding affordable service options.
In addition to Senators Collins, King, Heitkamp, and Moran, the following Senators signed the letter: Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Pat Roberts (R-Kans.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Jeff Merkley (D-Oreg.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Ron Wyden (D-Oreg.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Bob Casey (D-Penn.), and Chris Coons (D-Del.).
Letter from U.S. Senate
Letter from House of Representatives: