POSTAL MODERNIZATION BILLS
On February 13, 2013 Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep Peter DeFazio (D-OR) introduced legislation to modernize the USPS, save Saturday delivery, and repeal the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006.
Senator Sanders said: "While we all understand that the Postal Service is experiencing financial problems today and that changes need to be made as the Postal Service adjusts to a digital world, these issues can be dealt with in a way which strengthens the Postal Service rather than initiating a series of cuts that could eventually lead to a death spiral".
Co-sponsors in the Senate include fellow democrats Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Al Franken (D-MN), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tom Udall (D-NM) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
Representative DeFazio said; "Congress must work together and pass legislation that will sustain the Postal Service, avoid unnecesary closures that hurt communities and save American jobs. Most of the financial issues facing the United States Postal Service are due to short-sighted actions by Congress".
This bill would allow the USPS to look for new ways to make money by lifting legal bans on services like notarizing documents, issuing hunting & fishing licences, and allow the shipping of wine and spirits. It would also allow the Postal Service to look for ways to help customers take advantage of email and the internet services.
It would also rescind the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 which forces the USPS to pre-fund future retiree health care premiums at $5.5 billion a year through 2016. Since 2007 this law has been responsible for $4 out of every $5 in Postal Service debts. Finally, the bill would also reinstate overnight delivery standards to speed mail delivery and prevent shutdowns of mail sorting centers. Safeguards would also be put in place to protect rural post offices.
Senators Sanders's bill is S.316
Representative DeFazio's bill is H.R. 630
Everyone should contact their legislators and request they support and become co-sponsors of this legislation.