WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, led the Senate to advance long overdue, bipartisan legislation that would set the United States Postal Service on a more sustainable financial footing and support the goal of providing long-term reliable service across the country. In remarks ahead of a strong, bipartisan vote to advance the legislation, Peters urged his colleagues to support and quickly pass historic reforms that would eliminate unnecessary financial burdens, strengthen transparency and accountability for Postal Service performance, and ensure the Postal Service can better serve the American people. Peters is leading the bill in the Senate and has helped secure significant bipartisan support with a total of 74 Senators having voted to move the legislation forward. Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill with overwhelming bipartisan support.
“These vital reforms will help set the Postal Service on a more stable financial footing so that this trusted public service can continue delivering to every community in the United States,” said Peters on the Senate floor.
Peters continued: “There is still more work to ensure even greater long-term success for the Postal Service and its customers. But tonight, the Senate will take a substantial step to continue advancing this important bill. I urge my colleagues to join me in taking this meaningful action, to protect the future of the Postal Service and the essential service it provides to our communities.”
To watch video of Senator Peters’ remarks, click here.
The Postal Service Reform Act would provide key financial and operational reforms to the United States Postal Service. The bill would eliminate the burdensome prefunding requirement that has hurt the Postal Service financially, and integrate postal worker retirees’ health care with Medicare. Together, these two reforms would create more than $49 billion in savings for the Postal Service over the next ten years. In addition, the bill would require the Postal Service to maintain its standard of delivering at least six days a week. The legislation would improve transparency of Postal Service operations to both customers and Congress by requiring the publication of easily accessible local weekly service data on the Postal Service website, as well as regular and detailed reporting to Congress on Postal Service finances and operations. The bill also includes additional provisions for Postal Service effectiveness, accountability and growth.
Peters has fought to protect the Postal Service and its 245-year tradition of mail delivery. In 2020, Peters secured a $10 billion direct payment to help the Postal Service recover from pandemic-related losses. He also conducted an investigation into operational changes at the Postal Service in 2020 that resulted in significant delays. Following Peters’ investigation, the Postal Service reversed many of these changes and service has significantly improved.
Below is text of Senator Peters’ remarks, as prepared for delivery:
“In just a few moments, this body will take an important vote to continue moving forward on the bipartisan Postal Service Reform Act.
“These vital reforms will help set the Postal Service on a more stable financial footing, so that this trusted public service can continue delivering to every community in the United States.
“Millions of Americans are counting on the Postal Service to deliver essential mail, including medication, important financial documents, and other critical supplies.
“We have seen firsthand how veterans, seniors, small businesses, rural residents, and others who rely on the Postal Service, face serious hardships when the Postal Service is forced to cut costs by making changes to delivery service.
“This bill will help address the most significant financial burdens on the Postal Service, by reversing an unnecessary requirement to prefund every cent of health care benefits that every postal employee will eventually use in retirement, no matter how far off their retirement date is.
“By eliminating this aggressive prefunding requirement, something no other business in America is forced to do, along with integrating postal retirees’ health care into Medicare, like many other private employers, this bipartisan, commonsense legislation will save the Postal Service more than $49 billion over the next ten years.
“The bill also requires the Postal Service to deliver six days a week, and improves transparency and accountability for Americans by requiring the Postal Service to publicly post weekly local performance data on its website.
“This legislation has been 15 years in the making, and tonight we will get one step closer to making it a reality.
“I’m grateful to my colleagues who have shown strong bipartisan support for this legislation – including my co-lead, Ranking Member Portman, and the 28 cosponsors we have from both sides of the aisle.
“Our cosponsors have played an important role in helping to build additional support for this critical bill.
“There is still more work to ensure even greater long-term success for the Postal Service and its customers. But tonight, the Senate will take a substantial step to continue advancing this important bill. I urge my colleagues to join me in taking this meaningful action, to protect the future of the Postal Service and the essential service it provides to our communities.”