A bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation this week to set the ailing U.S. Postal Service (USPS) on better financial footing and restore long-term reliable service across the country.
The bill, introduced by Sens. Gary Peters (D-MI) and Rob Portman (R-OH), would relieve the USPS of $5 billion a year in mandatory retiree health-care expenses and enroll future Postal Service retirees in Medicare. According to Peters and Portman, these two reforms alone would save the Postal Service nearly $46 billion over the next decade.
“For decades, the Postal Service has struggled to overcome unfair and burdensome financial requirements that risk its ability to continue providing reliable service in the long run,” Peters said. “This commonsense, bipartisan legislation would help put the Postal Service on a sustainable financial footing, ensure it is more transparent and accountable to the American people, and support hardworking postal workers who deliver rain or shine to communities all across the country.”
The bill would also require USPS to maintain its six-days-a-week delivery standard and improve transparency of Postal Service performance by requiring weekly service data to be published on the USPS website, and issuing a detailed report to Congress on Postal Service finances and operations every six months.
The Postal Service Reform Act of 2021 is identical to legislation that has advanced in the House. The Senate bill already has nine Republican co-sponsors in addition to Portman, which means it could survive a potential filibuster if the Senate’s 50 Democrats also support the bill.
“While its role in American life has changed over the years, the United States Postal Service remains a key part of American life, serving Americans through its delivery of vital medicines, important packages and other mail,” Portman said. “For that reason, I am proud to join Senator Peters in introducing the Postal Service Reform Act of 2021, which will, when coupled with the Postal Service’s transformative 10-year plan, help turn around the substantial losses at the Postal Service over the last decade and ensure self-sustaining, high-quality postal service for all Americans.”