House of Representatives Committee suggests USPS reforms

In a new attempt to manage the spiralling losses of the USPS, the US House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz and Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings, together with fellow Committee members Mark Meadows, Gerry Connolly, and Stephen F. Lynch have introduced a “discussion draft” of postal reform legislation.

The Committee released a statement this week that said, “The Postal Service is in dire financial shape. Without reform now, the problems will only worsen and reform will become far more difficult to accomplish. This bipartisan legislative solution provides the opportunity for the Postal Service to return to solvency and continue to provide universal service to all Americans.”

According to the statement, the “key highlights” of proposed legislation include:

Enhance Revenue and Improve Efficiency:  The bill keeps mailing costs affordable and encourages innovation.

Medicare Integration:  USPS retirees will have to be enrolled in Medicare in order to remain eligible for federal healthcare in retirement. USPS has paid $29bn into Medicare, though a large number of retirees are not drawing on the benefits that they have paid for already through the scheme.

Streamline Governance and Oversight:  The bill reforms the current governance system to improve accountability by:

Restructuring the current Postal Service Board of Governors to improve accountability;

Strengthening the ability of the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) to hold USPS accountable; and

Consolidating the Postal Service and PRC Offices of Inspector General into one body.

Due to political interference brought about by conflicting pressures, the USPS is losing billions of dollars a year in terms of revenues. It seems that the House is making an attempt at fixing the leak but only time will tell whether it will succeed.

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