Collins, Lieberman Urge Support for Bill to Lower Postal Service Costs

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ranking Member Joe Lieberman (D-CT) today sent a letter to the Senate Budget Committee strongly urging support for a bill that would postpone postal rate increases until 2006 at the earliest.

The letter, co-signed by nine committee members, requested that the Budget Committee make provisions in the Senate Budget Committee’s FY 2004 budget resolution to accommodate passage of S. 380, the Postal Civil Service System Retirement Systems Funding Reform Act of 2003. The bill, which was unanimously approved by the committee on March 5, 2003, would correct statutory requirements that will result in the Postal Service over-funding its Civil Service Retirement System account.

Without this legislation, the Postal Service will over-pay its retirement account by $78 billion over the next 60 years. Post Master General Jack Potter has said that the bill’s enactment would delay additional postal rate increases until at least 2006 and would reduce the Postal Service’s debt by about $3 billion in FY 2003. Over the past two years, postal rates have risen three times.

“Another increase – especially one we know can be prevented – is just what our recovering economy does not need,” the senators wrote.

S. 380 has received wide bipartisan support in Congress. It is also supported by the Office of Management and Budget, the Office of Personnel Management, the Postal Service, Postal employee organizations and more than 100 companies and organizations in the mailing industry, which employs 9 million Americans.

In addition to Collins and Lieberman, the letter was signed by Sens. Ted Stevens (R-AK), Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Norm Coleman (R-MN), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Arlen Specter (R-PA), Thomas Carper (D-DE), Robert F. Bennett (R-UT), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), John Sununu (R-NH), Mark Pryor (D-AR), and Carl Levin (D-MI).