House Passes Collins’ Postal Reform

WASHINGTON—On Tuesday, the House approved legislation introduced by Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Susan Collins (R-ME) that will lower Postal Service costs and postpone further postal rate increases until at least 2006. The Collins bill, S. 380, passed the Senate unanimously last week.

“This bipartisan, bicameral effort to correct the Postal Service’s over-funding of its retirement fund will save an estimated $2.9 billion this fiscal year alone and will postpone rate increases until at least 2006,” Collins said. “While the constant barrage of rate increases is frustrating to everyone who mails a letter, it is much more than that to the $900 billion-dollar-a-year mailing industry and its 9 million workers. To them, it is a critical economic issue, as each rate increase raises the cost of advertising and shipping, which, in turn, raises the cost of goods for everyone.”

The Postal Civil Service System Retirement Systems Funding Reform Act of 2003, S. 380, will correct statutory requirements that have resulted in the Postal Service over-funding its retirement account by billions of dollars. Without this legislation, the Postal Service would have ultimately over-paid its retirement account by $78 billion over the next 60 years. Enactment of the bill will reduce the Postal Service’s debt by about $3 billion in fiscal year 2003 and, according to the Postmaster General, will delay the need for additional postal rate increases until 2006 at the earliest.