US Postal Service Bill Is Reintroduced By Lawmakers
WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Tom Reed is among the House of Representatives members reintroducing the USPS Fairness Act, a bipartisan piece of legislation to provide the United States Postal Service much-needed financial relief by ending the agency’s burdensome prefunding mandate on future retiree health benefits.
“We care about solving the Postal Service’s financial burdens to ensure millions of Americans, particularly those in more rural areas, do not lose access to critical postal services,” Reed said. “The prefunding mandate is unfair, uneconomic, and inhibits the USPS from focusing on the services the American people rely on, including life-saving medication deliveries or high priority mail. Congress must act to restore the financial integrity of USPS.”
In 2006, Congress passed a law to require the Postal Service to prefund 75 years’ worth of retiree health benefits in the span of 10 years–a cost of approximately $110 billion. Although the money is intended to be set aside for future Post Office retirees, the funds are instead being diverted to the General Fund of the U.S. Treasury.
No other private enterprise or federal agency is required to prefund retiree health benefits on a comparable timetable. The mandate is responsible for the 100% of USPS’s financial losses since 2013.
In February 2020, the bill passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 309-106, with 87 Republicans voting in favor of the bill.
The USPS Fairness Act is endorsed by the American Postal Workers Union, the National Association of Letter Carriers, the National Association of Postal Supervisors, the National Postal Mail Handlers Union, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, and the Communications Workers of America.