House Democrats Introduce Bill to Provide USPS 90-day extension to Pay Health Fund

Press Release

Washington, DC – Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings, joined by Representatives Norm Dicks, Ranking Member on the Appropriations Committee, Stephen F. Lynch, José Serrano, Gerald Connolly, Eleanor Holmes Norton and Danny K. Davis introduced legislation today to provide the U.S. Postal Service a 90-day extension on its pre-payment to the retired employee health benefit fund.  
“The Postal Service is one of our nation’s most trusted and reliable institutions,” said Cummings. “This short-term measure would give Congress an additional three months to consider ways to ensure that the Postal Service is profitable and competitive in the 21st century economy.”

The bill would postpone by 90 days a $5.5 billion prepayment to the Postal Service’s retiree health benefits fund due September 30.  This advance payment is required under the 2006 Postal Accountability Enhancement Act, which mandated that the Postal Service make accelerated annual payments to fully fund its anticipated retiree health care costs by 2016. This mandate is inconsistent with private sector policy, where companies typically prepay 70% to 80% of future retiree health care costs.  The Postal Service has already paid more than $42 billion to the U.S. Treasury toward its employees’ future healthcare costs.

“The truth is that the Postal Service is facing its financial challenges today in part because Congress changed the law in 2006, in a way that places extremely burdensome pre-funded health care requirements on the USPS that no other agency or organization must meet,” said Representative Lynch.  “This measure will ensure that the Postal Service and Congress have additional time to work together on comprehensive legislation to improve the Postal Service’s long-term viability.”

Temporarily suspending this prepayment will not affect the health care provided to retirees and will not in any way disrupt the daily delivery of mail or the operations of post offices or mail processing facilities.  It would simply extend by three months the due date for the prepayment while Congress and the Administration continue to consider broader reforms.  Given time constraints in considering the legislation as a stand alone bill, the forthcoming continuing resolution also offers a suitable option for moving this legislation forward.

In the coming weeks, Cummings and other Members will introduce legislation to help the Postal Service return to profitability through innovative solutions designed to increase revenue and cut costs.  A variety of provisions are being considered, including measures to allow the Postal Service to enter into new lines of business, lease its properties, revise the current Postal Service retiree benefits payment schedules, and right-size its workforce.

On September 6, Cummings and Lynch sent a letter to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe strongly opposing proposals to abrogate provisions of collective bargaining agreements with unions representing Postal Service employees, which have already made significant pay and benefits concessions.

10 thoughts on “House Democrats Introduce Bill to Provide USPS 90-day extension to Pay Health Fund

  1. House Democrats and politicans that have any say in IN USPS operations must realize action must bbe taken to reduce cost as the demand for postal products and services have declined due to advanced technology in communicatios. Elrctronic mail via instant messaging instabtly has replaced individual and business use of mail. Mail volume has declined and will continue to do so as online individual and business use is increasing resulting in massive loss of revenue. The revenue generated cannot cover operational cost as the USPS is loosing billions of dollars maintaining its present service. 6 day Street delivery to physical addresses is a wasted cost.. Sat. mail delivery has no purpose in connecting people and business other than delivering bulk business or advertising mail which has no revealance to anyone
    Cost effective operations must be executed to offset loss of revenue due to less demand for postal products and services. Services must be aligned with revenue to eliminate operating at a loss. Demograhics has changed the need for once community post officies that are within 3-5 miles of each other.
    The USPS is no longer needed as the source for connecting people and businesses. Younger generation does not consider physically mailing a letter via the USPS but instead text a message or use android smart cell phone. New electronic APPS are comming available continously.. The USPS lost its promience as the connector AT THE START OF THE 21ST CENTURY. USPS has a great history back to 17775 but in todays advanced technological advances in communications the USPS exist as a past tradition. Need to keep it around in some role to keep us abreast of our heritage.

  2. Relax New Retiree. Well, maybe relax is the wrong word in this present uncertain age. In 2006, after 12 years of study, within the tenure of 2 Postmaster Generals, Democrat and Republican lawmakers, agreed to this current fiasco concerning the future funding of retirees health care. The law states that 75 years out be funded in 10 years, hence the 5.5 billion dollar payment due every September. PMG Donahoe informed the Treasury Department that he is unable to make the payment. Supposedly, there is some 50 something billion already paid in . No one seems to know exactly. Surprise, surprise. What concerns me more than this problem is the Postal Service ceased making 115 million dollar payment to FERS every 2 weeks recently. What a total shameful company. The Postal Service is generally 20 to 25 years to late to act on anything. Remember the late 80’s? Closing unprofitable offices,consolidating plants, trimming the work force. So, we finally got here. Enjoy your retirement, I’m right behind you.

  3. Can someone tell me ust what if any does the Post office contribute to retiree health care. I was told at time of retirement application that no assistance with medical insurance was provided. That I musst obtain medical coverage or continue with the current plan but the cost was all mine. I am confused about just what they are talking about with all this talk about prepayment for future retiree medical benefits. Thanks.

  4. All Union members of all crafts need to participate in the Rally on Sept 27th. Show your support to save our jobs. This may be our final plea! Don’t stick your heads in the sand, this is getting serious. Especially for those of us who have years to go before retirement age. If you are not on the clock at the 4-5:30pm time frame show up and stand up for your jobs!

  5. The Republican controlled House of Representatives WILL NEVER PASS ANY BILL other than the ISSA/ROSS Bill that will GUT the USPS and change it forever.

    Well meaning Democratic House Reps. like Cummings, Lynch, Davis and Holmes-Norton will never have their Bills reach the floor for discussion and vote….they will be blocked by Issa’s Committee and their legislation will die.

    The voters in those Congressional Districts that have VOTED THESE CRETINS INTO OFFICE have done America the greatest DIS-SERVICE that can be imagined. We have had nothing but GRID LOCK AND BULL SHIT from these people, including THE GREAT DEBT CEILING DEBACLE….these people DO NOT WANT TO GOVERN, THEY WANT TO CHANGE THE FACE OF AMERICA PERMANENTLY FOR THEIR CORPORATE MASTERS into a land of LOW WAGE, UNBENEFITTED WORK PLACES….
    And the Postal Service along with the other Federal Agencies of the US Government will be the FIRST TO FALL.

  6. 90 days to pay 5.5 $Billion, What a joke! I’d give Congress 90 min’s to give back the $50 Billion the PO overpaid!

  7. Donahoe
    Just refuse to pay it. Make Congress sue you and maybe the Courts will force the FED to shift funds that were overpaid to cover the PreFund Health Benefits. And of course, you could always use DELAYing tactics if you feel the chance of an unfavorable decision.
    That is what any other Company would do and isn’t that a Point Of Interest with you. That the USPS should be run like a business.
    So BUCKUP, SCREW Congress and tell them to KISS IT!

  8. Thanks to all the Representarives who sent the Bill to congress to extend the retiree pre-fund payment for ninety (90) daysto the Postal Service. Hopefully this will be enough time to also allow the H.R. Bill 1351 to be heard on the floor and repay the money back to the Postal Service to keep the Postal Service afloat and Americans working, instead of being added to the millions in the unemployment lines!

    Americans were begin to wonder if anybody in congress is listening to the people who are trying to wiork and be taxpaying citizens of the United States of America. This mandate that was put on the Postal Service in 2006 was put in place so the Postal Service woulod fell and be come privitized. That just will not work for all Americans. The American public is accoustomed to their mail being delivered by the Postal Service on a daily basis, and that’s the only way it can remain at the low price it is today with mninimum increases, and delivered to every household no matter if it’s a small or large city. We need to know who is delivering the mail and who is accountable if there is a problem!! All g you representatives have my vote and blessing!!


  10. Right -size the work force,you have to be kidding. Over 200,000 have left our ranks,customers lined up to the door and in some cases out the door because of cut back on clerks. How do you have 200,000 employees leave the ranks and not have management take any cut backs?
    We end up 5.5 billion dollars behind on a payment to Congress but give $12 billion to do business with FedEx,work that we can do. Where is our leadership?

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