House to vote this week on smaller USPS reform bill to eliminate pre-funding benefits

After years of broader postal reform bills failing to pass, the House this week will vote on a measure to repeal the Postal Service’s mandate to pre-fund health care benefits for future retirees.

The USPS Fairness Act, introduced last May by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), would undo the pre-funding requirement at the heart of the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act that has accelerated the Postal Service’s financial losses.

According to the five-year strategic plan the Postal Service released last month, ending the past 13 years in the red has resulted in nearly a $78 billion loss for the agency. Pre-funding retiree health benefits accounts for nearly three-quarters of those losses.

However, unlike most of the postal reform bills introduced in the House and Senate in recent years, the one-page USPS Fairness Act wouldn’t require future postal retirees to enroll in Medicare Part B.

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