BACKGROUND ON DEFAZIO’S LEGISLATION
HR 630, Postal Service Protection Act
(1) Fix the immediate fiscal problem of the Postal Service by ending the pre-funding mandate and allowing the Postal Service to recover pension overpayments. The Postal Service Protection Act solves the most immediate financial problem facing the Postal Service by eliminating the unique requirement that the postal service pre-fund 75 years of future retiree health benefits in just 10 years. No other agency or company in America is required to pre-fund its retiree health benefits, especially on such an aggressive schedule. Since 2007, this pre-funding mandate is responsible for about 80 percent of the Postal Service’s financial difficulties.
(2) Protect 6-day delivery. This bill would establish a permanent legislative requirement that USPS deliver mail on Saturdays. USPS recently announced that it will be eliminating Saturday mail delivery beginning in August. Cutting six-day delivery is not a viable plan for the future. Providing fewer services and less quality will cause more customers to seek other options. Rural Americans, businesses, senior citizens and veterans will be hurt the most by ending Saturday mail.
(3) Ensure the timely delivery of mail and protect mail-processing facilities. The bill would re-establish overnight delivery standards for delivering first class mail which would ensure the timely delivery of mail, keep mail processing facilities open, and protect jobs.
(4) Protecting Rural Post Offices. This bill would give the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) binding authority to prevent post offices from being closed based on the effect on the community and the effect on the employees. Right now, the Postal Regulatory Commission only has the authority to review a decision to close, but it does not have any binding authority to prevent the closure, even if it finds it was flawed.
(5) Establish new ways the Postal Service can generate revenue, by ending the prohibition on providing new products and services, such as:
- Providing notary services, new media services, issuance of licenses (drivers licenses, hunting licenses, fishing licenses);
- Contracting with state and local agencies to provide new services;
- Shipping wine and beer; and
- Doing what some other countries are doing to respond to the shift toward electronic mail and away from hard-copy mail.
This bill would also create an entrepreneurial commission composed of successful business innovators, representatives of labor, and small businesses that would provide recommendations on how the Postal Service can generate new revenue to succeed in the 21st century.
(6) Provide USPS More Pricing Flexibility in Setting Postal Rates. The bill would eliminate the current rate increase limitation that ties yearly increases to CPI. This move would allow USPS some pricing flexibility to react to changing circumstances and decreased volume while maintaining current service levels.
DeFazio letter to Postmaster General Donahoe: Click here to read
Secretary of State Kate Brown Letter on USPS changes and Oregon Vote By Mail: Click here to read
Springfield Chamber of Commerce Letter on USPS changes: Click here to read