On March 22, U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) introduced The Postal Service Reform Act of 2018: Improving Postal Operations, Service, and Transparency to stabilize, preserve and improve the Postal ServiceTM – an essential part of our nation’s infrastructure and economy.
According to a release by the senators, the bill includes reforms that would “put the Postal Service on firm financial footing, stabilize and improve service performance, allow for the development of new products and services, and enhance transparency.”
To assess the challenges facing the Postal Service, the four senators held briefings, roundtables, and meetings with members on both sides of the aisle and postal stakeholders. Here are a few highlights from the bill:
- Increases sustainability: The existing statutory payment schedule is eliminated, any outstanding payments are canceled, and payments are amortized over 40 years.
- Improves and stabilizes Postal Service and Operations: Half of the temporary rate increase is restored and further rate increases are frozen until a new rate system can be finalized by the Postal Regulatory Commission.
- Prioritizes the Postal Customer with Service Improvements & Protections: Service reforms to improve mail service performance around the country, but especially in rural America, are included. The current service standards will be preserved for at least two years.
- Innovates and Modernizes Existing Postal Business Model and Increases Transparency: The Postal Service will be allowed to introduce new, non-postal products and services, ship beer, wine and distilled spirits, and offer state and local government services. In addition, all delivery and retail performance results will be posted in a “transparent and user-friendly” way.