a rare act of bipartisanship
The House on Tuesday evening passed a bipartisan reform bill that aims to save the U.S. Postal Service roughly $50 billion over the next 10 years.
In order to operate, the Postal Service relies on revenues from postage stamps and other services. Due to a drop in mail volume and a 2006 mandate that has the agency pre-funding retiree health-care costs for the next 75 years, the Postal Service has had 14 straight years of losses, and officials warned it would run out of cash by 2024 without congressional action. Under the Postal Reform Act, which passed with a vote of 342-92, $57 billion of the Postal Service's liabilities would be wiped clean, saving the agency another $50 billion over the next decade, The Washington Post reports.
The legislation would also ensure the mail is still delivered six days a week, the Postal Service is more transparent about its delivery times, and the agency contracts with local governments to offer some non-postal services, like receiving hunting and fishing licenses.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), the bill's sponsor and chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, told the Post that lawmakers "need to take steps to make our post office stronger. This bill helps and it will help in every way. It's a reform bill that will save taxpayers' dollars while at the same time making the operations of the post office more financially stable and sustainable, and making postal jobs and employee health benefits more secure."
President Biden and postal unions support the bill, and companion legislation in the Senate has the backing of 14 Republicans.