Bipartisan Bill Would Reform US Postal Service

Date: January 26, 2016

Bill Would Reduce Retirement Costs, Allow USPS To Provide New Services

The Washington Post “Federal Eye” blog reported that the Improving Postal Operations, Service and Transparency Act (iPOST) introduced by Sen. Thomas Carper was “embraced” at a hearing of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee last week. The legislation, the Improving Postal Operations, Service and Transparency Act, or iPOST, drew support from Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan, President of the National Association of Letter Carriers Fredric V. Rolando, and trade associations such as the Greeting Card Association and National Newspaper Association. According to National Association of Letter Carriers President Fredric V. Rolando, “There is a remarkable degree of consensus across a broad range of stakeholders — including the unions, postal management and a representative sample of mailing industry companies — about the most important reform elements.” The legislation includes reforms to retiree benefits and allows the Postal Service to provide new products and services. The bill does not propose cutting Saturday delivery service, an option sought by the USPS management that drew opposition from almost all other parties, including Congress.

What Happens Next

The bill’s fate is uncertain in the Senate. However, the legislation has bipartisan backing, making postal reform seem “more likely than it has in a long time.” Still, panel Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) has yet to take a position on the measure, and his support is seen as a key component to its advancement.

What This Means For Small Business

The reforms proposed in the iPOST bill should reduce costs for the Postal Service, but government mandates and labor constituencies impose excessive costs on the independent agency, which offers small businesses key delivery options. Small businesses would benefit if the USPS was able to compete in the market with fewer constraints.

Additional Reading

Federal News Radio (DC) also covered the iPOST Act.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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