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The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform yesterday unanimously passed H.R. 5714, the Postal Service Reform Act, which was cosponsored by Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), Reps. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA), and Gerry Connolly (D-VA).

The Committee approved a revision of the original discussion draft bill released yesterday. No amendments were added, however, the bill removed several portions from the original discussion draft that could have proven harmful to catalog mailers. The ACMA, the only organization representing catalog mailing interests, had requested such changes both in its own letter and through its coalition partner, the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service. The Committee listened.

 

A First Step

“The outlook for the Postal Service is grim without the improvements contained in this bill,” said Committee Chairman Chaffetz. “I hope the legislation sees quick action by the full House so the Postal Service can be one step closer to a viable, solvent future.”

Added Ranking Member Cummings, “This bill is the product of intense negotiations that have been ongoing for months, and it is the culmination of broader efforts that have been underway for years,” he said. “I’m pleased that my colleagues and I were able to craft a bipartisan bill we can all support that will place the Postal Service on sustainable financial footing.”

 

Challenge Ahead

In addressing the committee and speaking out against merely cutting costs, services and raising rates, most of which the bill avoided, Chairman Chaffetz acknowledged that for the primary change called for in the bill — namely, the elimination of retiree health care payments that left the USPS with a $49 billion liability — it will be challenging to get a good enough CBO score to get the bill across the finish line. “We’ll use this summer to work with the House Committee on Ways and Means” to get the bill passed this year, he said.

© 2016 American Catalog Mailers Association, Inc.

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