Reston, VA - NPES President Thayer Long commends the voice vote approval of H.R. 756, The Postal Service Reform Act of 2017, by the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform (OGR) Committee, and congratulates its congressional sponsors for their long-suffering initiative in crafting a bipartisan bill that seeks to put the U.S. Postal Service on a financially responsible, stable and sustainable course for the future. The legislation is the bi-product of years of discussion and compromise by its co-sponsors, OGR Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-3-UT), Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-7-MD), and their OGR Committee colleagues, Congressmen Mark Meadows (R-11-NC), Gerry Connolly (D-11-VA), Steve Lynch (D-8-MA), Brenda Lawrence (D-14-MI), Steve Russell (R-5-OK), Tim Ryan (D-13-OH), and Glen Thompson (R-5-PA).
Summarized, H.R. 756 strives to enhance and improve the Postal Service's revenue and efficiency, streamline its governance and, most notably from a financial standpoint, integrate postal retiree healthcare with Medicare, with the last provision absolutely essential to the success of the legislation's objectives.
"The fact that the OGR Committee has reported H.R. 756 by mid-March in the first year of the 115th Congress, and that the bill is built upon and is essentially the same legislation worked on by the Committee co-sponsors in the last congress is a striking testimonial to the single-minded determination and commitment of legislators and mailing industry stakeholders to achieve effective postal reform in this congress, if not in 2017," said Long.
With only a couple of technical amendments made to the original bill, the committee employed a number of nautical analogies to make the point that the arduously crafted legislation is like a carefully balanced ship that must not be allowed to founder by taking on amendments that would surely sink the measure's chances for success in the full House of Representatives. "More than one Committee member made compelling arguments for enacting H.R. 756 now, and not letting the "perfect" be the undoing of a good solution to the Postal Services challenges," said NPES Vice President, Government Affairs Mark Nuzzaco, and added, "we agree one hundred percent on that."
"The logistically complex and ubiquitous U.S. Postal Service is an essential component in the $1.4 trillion mailing industry, employing 7.5 million workers, which brings printed communication and commerce to consumers nationwide," NPES's Long added. "We simply can't afford to let it founder financially or become so expensive that it becomes an unaffordable option for advertising and delivery of products and services in an exploding e-commerce market. Print and packaging continue to have an important and effective role in the evolving age of digital communications and commerce."
The Committee also approved a closely related companion bill, H.R. 760, The Postal Service Financial Improvement Act of 2017, which would give guidance to the investment of the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund.
To mark this major step in the legislative process toward postal reform, NPES is hosting a congressional reception to recognize the leadership of H.R. 756's co-sponsors and supporters. The reception will be the evening of Wednesday, March 22, 2017, as a part of the Association's First 100 Days 2017 Legislative Conference, which is being co-hosted by Idealliance and supported by Presidential Sponsor Canon, and Executive Sponsors NAPIM – the National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers, and TLMI – Tag and Label Manufacturers Institute. Members of the OGR Committee, other members of the U.S. House of Representatives and printing, imaging and mailing industry colleagues are invited and welcome. For more information about the reception and to RSVP contact Erin Harrison at: [email protected].