Peters Urges Senate to Swiftly Pass Bipartisan Postal Service Reform Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, today urged his colleagues on the Senate floor to quickly pass 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. Peters is leading the bill in the Senate and has helped secure significant bipartisan support with a total of 74 Senators voting to advance the legislation on Monday night. The U.S. House of Representatives also voted to pass the bill with overwhelming bipartisan support last month.

“Last night, the Senate came together for the American people and overwhelmingly voted to move forward on historic bipartisan, bicameral, long overdue, reforms that will help ensure the stability and long-term success of the United States Postal Service,” said Peters on the Senate floor. “The Postal Service is one of our nation’s oldest and most trusted institutions, it serves as a critical lifeline for millions of Americans, including seniors and veterans, and rural communities who expect the Postal Service to deliver vital mail, including supplies and medications. However, for more than fifteen years, this public service and its dedicated workers, have been hindered by burdensome financial requirements. The need to quickly pass these balanced reforms, which are broadly supported by the American people, has become increasingly urgent.  

Peters continued: “We can show the American people this body can set aside partisanship and work hand-in-hand to improve their lives. Every single day that we delay will just hurt the Postal Service, we must pass these urgently needed reforms. And I urge all of my colleagues to support this legislation and pass it swiftly, so that we can ensure the long-term success of this treasured institution, and the essential role it plays in the lives of every single American.” 

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 onerous 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 a transcript of Senator Peters’ remarks, as prepared for delivery:

“M. President, last night, the Senate came together for the American people and overwhelmingly voted to move forward on historic bipartisan, bicameral, long overdue, reforms that will help ensure the stability and long-term success of the United States Postal Service.

“The Postal Service is one of our nation’s oldest and most trusted institutions, it serves as a critical lifeline for millions of Americans, including seniors and veterans, and rural communities who expect the Postal Service to deliver vital mail, including supplies and medications.

“However, for more than fifteen years, this public service and its dedicated workers, have been hindered by burdensome financial requirements. The need to quickly pass these balanced reforms, which are broadly supported by the American people, has become increasingly urgent.  

“One persistent burden has been a requirement to pre-fund every single cent of the health care benefits, that every single Postal Service employee will use when they eventually retire, no matter how far that may be.

“This is something that no business in America is required to do, and for good reason. It makes no practical sense and it has imposed an enormous cost on the Postal Service that has threatened their ability to provide reliable and timely delivery.

“In recent years, we have seen firsthand how burdensome policies have driven the Postal Service to resort to harsh measures to cut costs, and as a result, compromised delivery service.

“We must act now to set this critical institution on a sustainable financial footing by passing the Postal Service Reform Act. This bipartisan, commonsense legislation will save the Postal Service more than $49 billion in the next ten years by eliminating the aggressive prefunding requirement for retiree health benefits and by integrating postal retirees’ health care with Medicare.

“These changes will help ensure the Postal Service, which is self-sustaining and does not receive taxpayer funding, can continue serving the people and avoid making severe cuts down the line that would impact millions of Americans.  

“These reforms will also require the Postal Service to deliver six days a week, so it can continue serving as a critical lifeline for countless communities who need timely delivery of their essential needs.

“This legislation will also make the Postal Service more transparent and accountable to the American people by making weekly local performance data publicly available online, enabling every single community to see exactly how the Postal Service is performing in their area.

“I introduced this legislation in the Senate last year, and have worked hand in hand with Ranking Member Rob Portman from Ohio, as well as Chairwoman Maloney and Ranking Member Comer on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, to craft this bill.

“Last month, the House passed this legislation with overwhelming bipartisan support, and last night, we saw this body advance it with significant bipartisan support once again. 

“Now, the Senate has an historic opportunity to move this legislation forward. I am proud to have helped secure significant bipartisan support for our Senate companion bill, with a total of fourteen Democratic and fourteen Republican cosponsors backing the legislation.

“Together, we can finally, after more than 15 years, pass this commonsense, bipartisan legislation to set the Postal Service on a stable financial foot and bring it into the future. We can support our dedicated and hardworking postal employees as well as the customers they serve.

“We can set the Postal Service up for success so that families and small businesses, veterans, seniors, and all Americans can continue to rely on this critical public service, as they have for generations.

“We can show the American people this body can set aside partisanship and work hand-in-hand to improve their lives. Every single day that we delay will just hurt the Postal Service, we must pass these urgently needed reforms. And I urge all of my colleagues to support this legislation and pass it swiftly, so that we can ensure the long-term success of this treasured institution, and the essential role it plays in the lives of every single American.”

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