Congress Poised to Put ‘Stamp of Approval’ on Bipartisan Postal Reform
U.S. Senate on verge of passing bipartisan bill to strengthen the U.S. Postal Service & then send it to President Biden to be signed into law
RI delegation says the Postal Service Reform Act of 2022 should help save USPS about $49 billion over 10 years through structural benefit reforms, increase transparency, and facilitate timely mail and package deliveries
Bill will ensure reliable, 6-day a week mail service for RI. It also expands special rates for local newspaper distribution to promote local news organizations.
PROVIDENCE, RI – Rhode Island citizens and businesses rely on the United States Postal Service (USPS) to deliver their prescriptions, paychecks, utility bills, essential letters, and more. Now, thanks to new landmark legislation soon to be approved by the U.S. Senate, Congress is poised to boost universal mail service for households across America, invest in our Postal workers, and strengthen the U.S. Postal Service for future generations.
Today, members of Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation joined local Postal workers and labor leaders to discuss the impending passage of a new law that will help save the Postal Service and put it on a stronger and more sustainable financial path.
On February 8, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 342-92 to approve the Postal Service Reform Act. Earlier this week, the full U.S. Senate voted 74-20 to start debate on the bill. The measure could pass Congress early next week and be sent to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law.
The new law will help save the U.S. Postal Service about $49 billion over 10 years through structural benefit reforms, increasing transparency, and facilitating timely mail and package deliveries.
Members of the delegation outlined how the new law will put the U.S. Postal Service on sound financial footing and ensure long-term, reliable mail service by:
- Strengthening transparency and accountability for Postal Service performance;
- Keeping the Postal Service operating in communities nationwide; and
- Permanently requiring the Postal Service to maintain its standard of delivering at least six days a week.
The bill includes technology upgrades allowing the Postal Service to develop a public online mail delivery performance dashboard so customers can view on-time delivery metrics by zip code each week. It also expands special rates for local newspaper distribution to promote local news organizations.
“Our postal carriers deliver an important service and this bipartisan bill delivers for them, and for everyone who relies on the Post Office. This bipartisan bill has been a decade in the making. It will help modernize the Postal Service and make it more efficient and reliable. This type of bipartisan reform is long overdue. I urge the few Republican holdouts to allow a final vote so the Post Office can deliver for all Americans,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed, a cosponsor of the Senate bill (S. 1720).
“Rhode Islanders need a well-functioning postal service that can reliably deliver medications, checks, mail ballots, and correspondence on time,” said U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. “This bipartisan legislation will put the Postal Service on solid ground by finally solving some of the agency’s longstanding financial issues and better supporting the hardworking letter carriers who deliver six days a week, no matter what. I look forward to getting the bill over the finish line in the Senate.”
“I was proud to vote for the Postal Service Reform Act, which will help USPS regain the strong financial footing it needs to continue delivering on-time, reliable mail service to all Americans for many years to come,” said Rep. Jim Langevin. “Importantly, this long overdue legislation also protects the well-deserved benefits of Postal Service employees and retirees, while making sure that Rhode Islanders can count on USPS for their Social Security benefits, paychecks, absentee ballots, letters from friends and family, and so much more.”
“The Postal Service Reform Act is the bold, bipartisan action we need to strengthen the Post Office, support our postal workers, and preserve reliable, nationwide mail service for generations to come,” said Congressman David Cicilline. “This legislation will make delivery more reliable and restore and protect on-time delivery. Importantly, it also honors the service of Rhode Island’s 2,000 postal employees by ensuring the sustainability of the postal service and by safeguarding their health care and securing their retirement. Our increased reliance on the Post Office during the pandemic showed starkly how decades of underinvestment and burdensome financial restrictions have undermined this essential public service and left local branches underfunded and understaffed – and postal employees overworked.”
The U.S. Senate convenes on Monday at 3 p.m. and will resume consideration of the Postal Service Reform Act of 2022.