January 28, 2016
The Honorable Ron Johnson
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
United States Senate
328 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Fax: (202) 228-6965
Re: For the Record of the Hearing, Laying Out the Reality of the United States Postal Service, January 21, 2016
Dear Senator Johnson:
The Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers is writing to express our strong opposition to the “iPost” postal bill introduced by Senator Carper on September 17, 2015 and promoted at the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on January 21. The legislation, far from putting the Postal Service on the path to economic health, would be a big step backwards.
The most urgent need facing the Postal Service is to adjust its plant size, operations and costs to match its reduced mail volume of roughly 150 billion pieces so that it can continue to serve the remaining public demand for mail service. The iPost bill, however, would do virtually nothing to empower the Postal Service to rationalize its operations and control its costs. Indeed, it would create new barriers to these necessary reforms, and would force captive mailers to absorb the excess costs by legislating a permanent 4.3 percent rate surcharge on all market-dominant mail products.
The Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers is a coalition of nonprofit organizations that depend on market dominant mail products to raise funds, inform the public, and serve the organizations’ beneficiaries. Much of the $350 billion that Americans donate to charities annually can be attributed to the mail. The mail sent by nonprofit organizations includes newsletters, magazines, solicitation letters, and the large volume of First Class Mail used by the public to send donations to the charities.
The nonprofit sector has not been immune to the pressures affecting many parts of the economy since the 2007-2009 recession. Nonprofits have been forced to rationalize their own operations in the face of dwindling budgets and increasing social needs. To saddle nonprofits with massive rate increases while preventing the Postal Service from rationalizing its own operations would jeopardize the ability of nonprofits to continue fulfilling needs that neither the government nor the for-profit sector can meet. Enactment of the iPost bill would shutter more nonprofit publications, reduce solicitation programs, and force nonprofits to shift resources to digital channels of lesser effectiveness.
We appreciate your leadership of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, especially with your business background and acumen. We hope that you will agree that limiting the Postal Service’s flexibility to adjust to lower volumes, while surcharging the captive customers that currently support the business, will not lead to a healthy Postal Service.
Stephen M. Kearney
Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers
1211 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 610
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: (202) 462-5132
Fax: (202) 462-0423