House readies Postal bill

May 12, 2021


The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform this Thursday will mark up a postal reform bill.  The business meeting to consider any amendments or objections to the draft bill will be held virtually and in person.  The session will be streamed through the OGR website starting at 10 am ET.


The chair of the committee, Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), has set a goal of succeeding with one of the few bipartisan pieces of legislation during this Congress. The proposed bill includes provisions that:


  • Require Medicare integration of Postal Service employees;
  • Repeal a requirement for the Postal Service to pre-fund retiree health benefits;
  • Require an online, publicly available dashboard to track service performance;
  • Require the Postal Service to operate six days per week using an integrated network;
  • Require the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) to review the cost allocations between market-dominant and competitive products;
  • Permit an expansion of special rates to improve local newspaper sustainability;
  • Direct funding from the Postal Service Fund for the PRC;
  • Require a study and remedial plan on the operational inefficiencies related to flats (magazines and catalogues);
  • Require reporting on Postal Service operations and financing;
  • Update the Postal Service transportation selection law (39 U.S.C. 101(f));
  • Merge the Postal Service Inspector General and Postal Regulatory Commission Inspector General into a single Inspector General of the Postal Service; and
  • Allow the Postal Service to enter into agreements with State, local, and tribal governments to provide non-commercial property and services that provide enhanced value, do not detract from postal services, and provide a reasonable contribution to the institutional costs of the Postal Service.


The first two bullets are the most substantive components, as they would save the USPS $58 billion over the next ten years, according to the Postal Service strategic plan.  Indeed, they represent 36 percent of the $160 billion goal stated for the ten-year plan, the largest portion. (The other ten-year plan components are: $44 billion or 28 percent for mail rates above inflation; $34 billion or 21 percent for cost reductions; and $24 billion or 15 percent for revenue enhancements.)


After a markup, a successful bill would be brought to a vote by the OGR committee, then a vote by the full House of Representatives.  The Senate would need to pass a similar bill that would be reconciled with the House version, and then sent to the President for his signature.