Senate Gets Into the Postal Reform Game; Has Strong Bipartisan Support
On the heels of last week’s House action on postal reform, the Senate this week got into the game by introducing companion legislation, the Postal Reform Act of 2021, to address USPS financial, service and transparency reforms. This bipartisan legislation, led by Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Gary Peters (D-MI) and Ranking Member Rob Portman (R-OH), is substantively identical to the legislation of the same name that was approved by the House Oversight Committee last week.
The bill was introduced with strong bipartisan co-sponsorship, including nine Democrats and eight Republicans, which bodes well for committee passage and – eventually – 60 votes on final passage.
Like its House counterpart, the Act focuses on key financial reforms that have been long-sought by the printing and mailing industry, including: 1) elimination the onerous retiree pre-funding requirement; and 2) integrating postal retirees’ health care into Medicare. According to Senator Portman, these two reforms alone would save $45.9 billion in savings for USPS over the next 10 years. The Act would also codify the 6-day USPS delivery service standard, which would create more certainty for mailers, publishers, and advertisers who rely on current delivery standards. This is all news welcomed by PRINTING United Alliance.
However, this bill does nothing to address the likely dramatic rate increases that mailers see as a very scary and very real scenario. Congress seems intent on moving financial and service reforms, but to date has taken a hands off approach to rates.
PRINTING United Alliance and its allies will continue to urge Congress to improve the Postal Reform Act of 2021 to include safeguards against postal rate spikes that would drive down mail volume. If you are a concerned printing company owner, employee, or customer, please take action here (and now) OR text “Mail” to 52886 to make your voice heard on Capitol Hill. Let your lawmakers know that you support the Act, but that provisions focusing on rates must be included in order to secure meaningful postal reform.
In this article, Lisbeth addresses the postal reform legislation. More information about postal policy can be found at www.sgia.org or reach out to Lisbeth should you have additional questions specific to how these issues may affect your business: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To become a member of PRINTING United Alliance and learn more about how PRINTING United Alliance subject matter experts can assist your company with services and resources such as those mentioned in this article, please contact the Alliance membership team: 888-385-3588 / email@example.com.
Related story: Postal Reform Legislation Advances in US House: What’s Next?
Lisbeth Lyons is Vice President, Government & Political Affairs, PRINTING United Alliance, the largest, most comprehensive graphic arts trade association in the country. With more than 20 years of experience representing the voice of business on Capitol Hill, Lisbeth advocates for public policies that protect and advance the economic future of the printing and packaging industry. She oversees PRINTING United Alliance’s legislative, political, and grassroots advocacy initiatives, and has served in executive leadership of multiple successful advocacy campaigns, such as Coalition for Paper Options, Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service, and Stop Tariffs on Printers & Publishers Coalition.
Prior to representing PRINTING United Alliance, Lisbeth served in similar roles at Printing Industries of America, US Telecom, and the National Federation of Independent Business. She also spent three years as a K-12 teacher in the Chicago Public Schools system, where she was on the forefront of urban education reform in the mid-1990s.
Lisbeth is Midwestern born and bred, having grown up in the St. Louis metropolitan area and attended college at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, before starting her career in Washington, DC. She holds a B.A. in English/Sociology and a professional graduate certificate from The George Washington University School of Political Management. She lives in the historic Logan Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC.
An avid leader and learner in professional development, Lisbeth was a founding member of the Government Relations Leadership Forum, and is an active participant in organizations such as Council of Manufacturing Associations, Women in Government Relations, and National Association of Business PACs, among others. Lisbeth is often a featured speaker at premier industry conferences; she has spoken to Boards of Directors, corporate executive management teams, and state and regional trade associations across the country from coast to coast.