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NPES Commends Congressional Action on Postal Reform

Press release from the issuing company

June 1, 2004 -- NPES The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies commends the members of the House Government Reform Committee for their bipartisan efforts to bring postal reform legislation to the House floor for the first time in over 30 years. H.R. 4341, The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act would: (1) modernize rate regulation,limiting most rate-increases to the Consumer Price Index; (2) combine market mechanisms with postal commission regulation, giving the U.S.P.S. additional pricing freedom for competitive products, but removing its favored legal treatment for such products; (3) limit the postal monopoly and define postal products; (4) reform international mail regulation; (5) strengthen the Postal Rate Commission (renaming it the Postal Regulatory Commission); (6) establish a basis for future reforms, mandating several studies, including a comprehensive assessment of the scope and standards for universal services; and (7) return funding of military service costs of Postal retirees to the Treasury Department. The leadership of Chairman Tom Davis (R-VA), Congressmen Henry Waxman (D-CA), John M. McHugh (R-NY) and Danny Davis (D-IL) was instrumental in securing unanimous approval of H.R. 4341 by the House committee on May 12, 2004. The Association strongly supports the House initiative and corresponding efforts by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, and cosponsoring Senators Tom Carper (D-DE), Ted Stevens (R-AK), George Voinovich (R-OH), John Sununu (R-NH), Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), Daniel Akaka (D-HI) and Richard Durbin (D-IL), who introduced S. 2468, The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act on May 21, 2004, bringing it one step closer to enactment. The Senate markup of S. 2468 is scheduled for June 2. While many details of the reform legislation remain to be resolved, NPES will con tinue to work with members from both houses of congress as the bill evolves. NPES believes it is essential that postal reform legislation pass this year. NPES President Regis J. Delmontagne commended House and Senate Congressional leaders for their efforts to bring this legislation about. The mailing industry contributes $900 billion, or 9 percent of the GDP, and 9 million jobs to the economy. “This vast component of the economy must remain viable and be encouraged to grow. Both the House and Senate drafts of postal reform bills address the structural, legal and financial constraints that burden the U.S. Postal Service and its customers,” said Delmontagne. He also repeated the warning made by many in the U.S. Postal Service and the mailing industry, that if Congress does not pass postal reform legislation this year, the rate increases in 2006 will be larger and more onerous than otherwise expected. Kathryn P. Marx, NPES Chair and Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Planning of Flint Ink, commented, “The House Committee on Government Reform and the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs have both made bipartisan efforts to create legislation that addresses the crisis that the U.S. Postal Service has been in for years.” She emphasized that “the existing structure of the U.S. Postal Service is not suited for today’s competitive environment, which causes damage not only to the U.S. Postal Service but to all postal customers, especially those in the mailing industry.” W. Bruce Goodwin, NPES government Affairs Committee Chairman and President of Glunz and Jensen Inc., praised the bipartisan efforts and urged further action. “The endeavors by these leaders of Congress show their appreciation of the role the postal system plays in the economy,” Goodwin said.