Reston, VA – NPES President Thayer Long lauded the efforts of Congressmen Jason Chaffetz (R-3-UT), Chairman, and Elijah Cummings (D-7-MD) Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform (OGR) Committee in crafting a bipartisan postal reform discussion draft as a precursor to introducing legislation later in June. Chaffetz and Cummings were joined by OGR Committee members Congressmen Mark Meadows (R-11-NC), Gerry Connolly (D-11-VA) and Steve Lynch (D-8-MA) in developing the proposal that was presented to mailing industry stakeholders in a June 15 Capitol Hill meeting.
"It would be hard to overstate the importance to NPES members and the broader mailing industry of this initiative to bring the Postal Service back to solvency," said NPES's Long. This is especially true at a time when the Postal Service is, in the words of the discussion draft's congressional co-authors, "in dire financial shape," having accumulated $125 billion in unfunded future payment obligations, exhausted its borrowing capacity, and already defaulted on five payments to the U.S. Treasury. Long added that "this kind of bipartisan cooperation is refreshing to see at a time when there is so much other political dysfunction." Mailing industry stakeholders were given two weeks to review the draft and submit comments to OGR Chairman Chaffetz and his committee colleagues.
Summarized, the draft attempts to enhance revenue and improve efficiency, streamline the governance and oversight of the Postal Service, and most notably from a financial standpoint integrate postal retiree healthcare with Medicare. Including this last provision is critical to the success of the initiative according to ORG Chairman Chaffetz.
"The discussion draft is a thoughtful and realistic starting point that includes and tries to balance key reforms needed to put the Postal Service on a course to financial solvency and long-term viability once again," said NPES Government Affairs Director Mark Nuzzaco. But he added that details are always important, so NPES and its Twenty-first Century Postal Service Coalition allies are now closely reviewing the discussion draft in order to provide its congressional authors with guidance going forward. "We are a long way from the finish line," said Nuzzaco, "but at least we have started the race."