Sen. Sanders’ Bill Addresses USPS Crisis

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) recently introduced the Postal Service Protection Act (S. 1853 [PDF]), a bill that would go a long way toward resolving the USPS financial crisis, Legislative and Political Director Myke Reid reports.

“Sen. Sanders’ bill gets at the underlying causes of the Postal Service’s dire financial situation, and outlines methods for resolving the crisis,” he said. “It offers solutions that would strengthen service and protect the network of post offices and mail processing centers.

“The network is one of the Postal Service’s greatest assets,” Reid noted. “Unfortunately, several other bills currently pending in Congress would destroy this essential component of the Postal Service and American life.”

The Postal Service Protection Act would:

  • Fix the Postal Service’s immediate financial crisis by allowing the USPS to recover the overpayments it made to its retiree pension funds — both the $7 billion overpayment to the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) and the $50 billion to $75 billion overpayment to the Civil Service Retirement System. In addition, the bill would eliminate the unique requirement that the USPS pre-fund 75 years worth of future retiree health benefits in just 10 years. No other agency or company in America is required to pre-fund these benefits.
  • Establish new ways to generate revenue by ending the prohibition on USPS providing non-postal services, such as providing notary services, new media services and issuance of licenses; contracting with state and local agencies to provide services; shipping wine and beer, and allowing the USPS to provide services that mail systems in many other countries provide, including digital services.
  • Create a blue-ribbon commission composed of entrepreneurs, representatives of labor and small businesses to provide recommendations on how the Postal Service can generate new revenue to succeed in the 21st century.
  • Prevent the closing of rural post offices by giving the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) binding authority to prevent closures based on the effect on the community and employees. The bill would also prohibit USPS from considering whether a post office is turning a profit when making the decision to conduct a feasibility study for closure.
  • Protect six-day delivery.
  • Protect mail-processing facilities by requiring strict standards for delivering first-class mail.

Joining Sanders as original co-sponsors of the bill were Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Tom Udall (D-NM), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

Click here for a more detailed summary [PDF] of the bill.

source: APWU

7 thoughts on “Sen. Sanders’ Bill Addresses USPS Crisis

  1. Wait – I don’t see how this is going to get us out of the red. Except for the overpayments, it looks like status quo. He thinks it’s enough to use the overpayments to buy us out, then hire cheaper labor? If that’ll work, I’m
    ready to go. If not…

  2. lets take this buisnees priority…

    first priority is to make the buisnees thrive and its purpose to the community survive or make retirement benefits a priority factor (which indirectly kills it). ofcourse any company has to evolve and restructure..but not always at the cost of the bottom list, without whom the whole system does not make sense.

    common-sense retirement fund grows with the buisness existing or alteast a hope for it in the future OR if the buisness suffer there is no furure vison of retirement for those in there now. if the management technique is to use “fear” as in the past, there could be damage we are in info’ era!

    if anyone has a knowledge of turning one against one self (auto-immunity) this is it!

    the buisness has to survive, thrive to achieve retirement… what is the point in funding 75 years in the future while no one can say what will happen in 75 weeks from now! is this constitutional?

    make the good nature or 1853 and 1351 and fixing employers attitude towards the employee, especially if the employees are in the hundreds of thousands and the employer is feds indirectly or directly.

  3. head spinning with all the bills …but looks like the bills evolving with reality.

    this one sure is a improvement which can relate with the reality of the situation.

    if congress men come up with bills with different numbers, why can they just say usps issue and work on it and finish it, straight forward? only those in congress will know (the good ones), why this is like this… hopefully the congress leans towards 1853 and 1351……… is just not good towards 23 dash dash issa



  5. This bill looks good and should be the one to get us out of the hole. If people took the time to look at the pre-funding and the overpayments they would see that the Post Office makes money and the government takes everything they can get even if it puts the Post Office in the RED

  6. How many bills are we going to have? Let’s pick one and let’s get going. This one would be great if it really had a chance of recovering the civil service over payment , but that’s never going to happen.

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