PIA/GATF has endorsed S. 662 and HR. 22 – the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act introduced by U.S. Sen. Susan Collins and Tom Carper and Rep. Tom Davis and others in the House. This important legislation is part of an effort that began three years ago to modernize the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).
According to PIA/GATF, it is imperative that this legislation be passed this year, and it is critical that PIA/GATF members act to urge Congress and the White House to pass postal reform.
The Postal Service is a very large federal entity with more than one-third of the federal work force, but it is also a critical link in 9 percent of the U. S. gross domestic product. Industries such as printing, paper, publishing, financial services, retailing and advertising depend heavily on an efficient uniform system of delivering mail.
This legislation will help assure that this system can operate successfully for the foreseeable future.
The Postal Service receives no federal subsidies and is funded exclusively by the postage paid on products handled by the Postal Service. S.662 and HR. 22 address a number of issues which will assure that this self-funded operation will not become a taxpayer burden.
Key issues addressed by S. 662 include:
• Permanent correction of an overpayment by the USPS into the federal Civil Service Retirement System which otherwise would require purchasers of postage to pay an additional 6 percent per year to offset the overpayment.
• Returns responsibility for the military service portion of postal retirees to the federal treasury rather than covered in the price of stamps.
• Provides pressure on the USPS to economize by limiting postage rate increases to the Consumer Price Index.
• Enables mailers to partner with the Postal Service to achieve greater efficiencies and mail cost reductions.
The U. S. printing industry relies on the Postal Service for the distribution of almost $80 billion of products. There is no alternative to this distribution system. Failure on the part of Congress to address this important issue may result in a cycle of postage rate increases which will eventually undermine the ability of the system to operate, according to PIA/GATF.
The printing industry would face enormous economic disruption if that occurs. Additionally, the taxpayer will be exposed to a substantial liability for the pension and medical costs of postal retirees.
To aid its lobbying efforts, PIA/GATF is urging members to support this legislation by writing to members of Congress. More info: PIA/GATF, (412) 741-6860; fax: (412) 741-2311; e-mail: email@example.com.