As steps to push the 21st Century Postal Act continue to move ahead, this week illustrated great progress for legislators who are behind reform efforts.
On Wednesday the Senate voted 62 to 37 to approve bipartisan postal reform legislation that allows for flexibility to grow postal service, reduce costs and improve the retiree health benefit system. It appears to be right on time and ahead of the May 15th deadline to turn around the Postal Service’s daily loss of up to $25 million and keep thousands of postal facilities and distribution centers from closing their doors permanently.
“The financial situation facing the U.S. Postal Service is dire, but it is not hopeless. The time to act is now, and this legislation will provide the Postal Service with much needed flexibility so it can right-size, modernize, and remain competitive for decades to come,” said Federal Financial Management Subcommittee Chairman Tom Carper, D-Del.
According to legislators, the financial condition of the Postal Service has been crumbling for years thanks to tough economic times and the growing global use of the internet for communications and commerce.
In the meantime, the House must now act quickly to move forward with their own bill, the Postal Reform Act of 2011, which shares many of the same provisions as the Senate bill. Although the Postal Reform Act of 2011, was passed out of Committee in October 2011, House leaders have not yet scheduled a vote on the bill.
“I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House of Representatives to address the challenges facing the Postal Service. It is my hope that they move forward expeditiously with consideration of postal reform legislation. We can solve this problem if we work together and remain committed to preserving this invaluable American institution for generations to come.”