Published: November 2013

Postal Reform harms consumers, rural customers and small businesses

Coalition: Consumer Postal Council

Instead of closing offices and ending Saturday service, Consumer Action recommends other savings options be explored before passing the Postal Reform Act.

In a letter to the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs, Consumer Action states its concerns regarding the Postal Reform Act (S.1486). The proposal does not consider the average citizen’s needs in terms of a functioning postal service. Proposed postal hikes, the eventual elimination of Saturday mail delivery and business door delivery, and the phase-out of household door delivery are all measures incorporated into the proposal. However, the bill does not address the primary cause of the Postal Service's fiscal crisis - prefunding obligations for retiree medical costs. With billions already in the fund, it doesn’t make sense to prefund more. The federal government does not prefund its retiree healthcare liabilities—why should the Postal Service?

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I - VT), who has introduced an alternative reform proposal in the Postal Service Protection Act, "strongly opposes" the legislation: “While we all understand that the Postal Service is experiencing financial problems today and that changes need to be made, providing fewer services and poorer quality is not the way to save the Postal Service.”

Although USPS faces unprecedented challenges, there is hope for growth. The National Association of Letter Carriers President, Fredric Rolando, testified in front of the Committee and explained that while the Internet has caused a decline in first-class mail volume, thanks to increased use of e-mail and online bill payments, “the Internet is also creating new business opportunities for the Postal Service,” Rolando said, “and with it, surging package revenues.”

In fact, earlier this month, Amazon and the USPS announced an agreement to make Sunday deliveries available for Amazon Prime customers. Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), co-author of the proposed Postal Reform Act, hailed the arrangement an example of “innovative solutions the agency needs to survive and thrive in the 21st Century.”

Lead Organization

Consumer Action

More Information

For more information please visit the Consumer Postal Council's website.

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Postal Reform harms consumers, rural customers and small businesses   (S.1486_postal_2013.pdf)

 
 

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