Congressmen Comer & Connolly Receive ‘Benjamin Franklin Award for Distinguished Leadership in Postal Policy’
Keep US Posted has awarded Congressmen Jamie Comer (R-Ky.) and Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) with the inaugural “Benjamin Franklin Award for Distinguished Leadership in Postal Policy.” The award—presented by Keep US Posted executive director and former Congressman Kevin Yoder (R-Kans.) during a special reception in Washington, D.C.—is presented to members of Congress who have led efforts to preserve and protect the U.S. Postal Service for the Americans who rely on it.
Both Congressman Comer and Congressman Connolly were instrumental in the passage and implementation of the landmark Postal Service Reform Act of 2022, a bipartisan bill signed into law last April by President Biden. The new law, which represents the first major postal reform since 2006, was intended to fiscally stabilize the Postal Service and keep postage affordable. Notably, the Postal Service Reform Act integrated future retirees into Medicare, immediately generating nearly $50 billion for USPS and improving its future fiscal stability.
Yet on the same day the legislation was signed into law, Postmaster Louis DeJoy ignored the law’s intent and announced that he will continue raising stamp prices at an “uncomfortable” level, which has outpaced inflation for many mail products. Since then, stamp prices increased for an unprecedented second time in one year, with another increase planned for July 2023 and every six months thereafter.
“Both Congressman Comer and Congressman Connolly have been willing to reach across the aisle to preserve and protect the affordability and reliability of the U.S. Postal Service,” said Yoder, a former Republican member of Congress from Kansas. “Both of these extraordinary policymakers continually put the needs of the mailing public first by ignoring political differences and working with their colleagues both Democrat and Republican. Their actions have reflected true leadership in Postal Service oversight. They are dedicated to ensuring that its benefits are fully achieved for all stakeholders.”
As ranking member of the oversight committee, Congressman Comer set aside political differences and worked in a bipartisan fashion to quickly pass postal reform legislation, which had languished in two prior congresses. In late 2022, he also endorsed the same appropriations language requiring regulators to conduct a new review of postage rate limits to ensure that the financial benefits of postal reform reach the American public.
“I want to thank Keep US Posted and their leadership for all their work and efforts to improve the U.S. Postal Service,” said Congressman Comer. “Americans hold the USPS in extremely high regard. And that’s for good reason—all rely on it for our paychecks, medications, news and magazines, and correspondence with loved ones. The USPS is truly one of our prized national assets. For years, I worked with my colleagues across the aisle to deliver one of the biggest bipartisan accomplishments in the 117th Congress. Signed by President Biden, the Postal Service Reform Act strengthened and improved USPS operations for generations to come. The modernization of the USPS is in full swing, and I look forward to ensuring it operates like a 21st century business that provides reliable service to the American people.”
Congressman Connolly has been a strong supporter of postal reform legislation and has worked ardently for its passage since it was first introduced many years ago. He also worked across the aisle to defend the requirement for six-day mail delivery—making it a now-permanent requirement in the Postal Service Reform Act. Connolly also introduced separate legislation to require a new regulatory review of postage rate limits and joined Chairman Comer in supporting the appropriations language requiring the review.
“Throughout the pandemic, the U.S. Postal Service was the one constant in all our lives,” said Congressman Connolly. “Amidst the upheaval, we could always count on the mail showing up in our mailboxes each day. It was, and remains, a lifeline for millions. Our efforts to save the Postal Service became more important, and more necessary than ever before. And while it wasn’t easy, we got bipartisan postal reform across the finish line. I am honored by this recognition and looking forward to the work ahead to keep USPS forever up and running for the American people we serve.”
Keep US Posted, which was formed in late 2021, joins Comer and Connolly in continuing to fight unprecedented postage hikes and mail delays. The organization is now focused on stopping DeJoy’s planned rate increases, which fly in the face of the Postal Service Reform Act, as well as the work of Comer, Connolly, and their colleagues in Congress.