US Congress votes to restore USPS delivery standards

The US Congress has voted for the restoration of mail delivery standards to that of 1 July 2012, flying in the face of global trends in postal delivery. If this is passed into law, the USPS will reverse its reduced standards that it enacted in January 2015. The vote took place in the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee on Thursday.

The amendment was tabled by Ohio Representative Marcy Kaptur, and was adopted on a 30-17 voice vote.

The amendment has been welcomed by the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), whose President Mark Dimondstein said, “This is great step forward for postal workers and our customers – big and small.

“If it is passed into law, the bill would require the Postal Service to restore overnight mail delivery within metropolitan areas and towns, and re-establish the 2- and 3-day delivery standards for first-class mail and periodicals that were wiped out in 2015.

“This is a powerful example of how the demands of postal workers reflect the people’s demand for good postal service.”

However, Dimondstein added that the amendment was, “just the first step in a long process”. The full House must approve the Financial Services Appropriations bill and the Senate also must approve a similar provision in a final appropriations bill before it can become law. A similar measure passed the House committee last year but did not make its way through the Senate.

If USPS did restore the fuller service standards, it would be running counter to the general trend in the industry, as postal operators have been rationalising their mail delivery options in the light of falling letter volumes and focusing more on ramping up their e-commerce offerings.