(PatrioticPost.com)- Earlier this week, the House passed legislation that would see operational and financial reforms come to the U.S. Postal Service.
The bipartisan legislation passed through the House by a tally of 342-92, with a whopping 120 Republican members joining every Democrat to support the bill.
A bipartisan group of representatives have had trouble passing legislation to overhaul the USPS, which has experienced major delays in delivery since the start of the pandemic.
Late last year, though, the chairwoman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Democrat Carolyn Maloney of New York, introduced the proposal with the top Republican in that committee, James Comer of Kentucky.
In celebrating the passage of that proposal Tuesday, Maloney said:
“Today’s historic bipartisan vote brings us one step closer to finally putting the Postal Service on a sound financial footing so it can continue serving all Americans for years to come.”
For more than 10 years, the USPS has operated at a net loss on an annual basis. The agency estimates that in its current form, it will run out of money to fund its operations in just two more years.
A major reason that the Postal Service’s financial position has worsened so considerably is the major decline in volume of mail, along with unfunded debt and liabilities as well as rising costs of employee pay.
The legislation passed through the House this week would help the agency save money. It would eliminate an existing requirement to pre-fund health benefits for retirees. That measure alone would save roughly $27 billion over the next 10 years.
The bill would also require all future retirees from the Postal Service to enroll in Medicare. That measure would save another $23 billion.
The legislation will also establish new delivery standards and transparency for service performance. Lawmakers believe this can help delivery efficiency, which started to suffer immensely after Postmaster General Louis DeJoy put in place changes in 2020. The Postal Service’s backlog has also increased significantly since the start of the pandemic, when the demand for packages to be mailed soared.
The Postal Service is also facing increased demand for service after the Biden administration recently started a new program that allows people to order COVID-19 tests for free that will be mailed directly to them.
The House bill would require the Postal Service to deliver packages and mail at least six days every week. The agency would be required also to create a new online dashboard for the public that will include weekly service performance data. The Postal Service would also need to provide reports on a semi-annual basis to Congress on how well it’s implementing the new strategic plan.
Reforms of the U.S. Postal Service look imminent, as the upper chamber has a bill in process that already has 14 Republican sponsors — more than enough to break the filibuster.
That companion bill was introduced by the chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in the Senate, Democrat Gary Peters of Michigan.
In a statement after the House passed their bill, Peters said:
“Given the significant, bipartisan support for the same bill in the Senate, I expect to move quickly to vote on these critical reforms that will help ensure the Postal Service’s long-term success.”