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DeFazio-Authored Bill to Help US Postal Service Maintain Sustainability Passes House of Representatives

Feb 5, 2020
Press Release

Today the House of Representatives passed decisively bipartisan legislation authored by Rep. Peter DeFazio that would provide the United States Postal Service (USPS) with much-needed financial relief by ending the agency’s burdensome prefunding mandate on future retiree health benefits. The legislation passed by a vote of 309 to 106, with 87 Republicans voting in favor of the bill. 

“Americans and businesses around the country depend on a reliable Postal Service. This is especially true for rural areas and seniors in my district, who count on six-day service and door-to-door service for their mail and prescription medications,” said Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR-04). “The unreasonable pre-funding mandate has threatened the survival of the USPS and placed its vital services for the millions who rely on it at risk. The pre-funding mandate policy is based on the absurd notion of paying for the retirement funds of people who do not yet, and may not ever, work for the Postal Service. My bill will finally repeal this ludicrous policy, provide the USPS with critical financial relief and is the first step towards much-needed comprehensive reform.”

In 2006, Congress passed a law to require the USPS to prefund 75 years worth of retiree health benefits in the span of ten years—a cost of approximately $110 billion. Although the money is intended to be set aside for future Post Office retirees, the funds are instead being diverted to help pay down the national debt.

No other private enterprise or federal agency is required to prefund retiree health benefits on a comparable timetable. The mandate is responsible for all of USPS’s financial losses since 2013.

To see Rep. DeFazio’s floor speech in support of H.R. 2382, the USPS Fairness Act, click here.

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