Postal reform should deliver better results

Fixing the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) broken business model was never going to be easy. Proposals range from complete privatization to expanding into nonpostal businesses to raise revenue for an organization that has lost money in every quarter of each year since 2009. H.R. 3076, the Postal Service Reform Act of 2021, does not provide either of those solutions, both of which raise strong objections from each side of the aisle, but it does include some positive changes that will begin to stabilize the agency’s finances.

In a rare moment of bipartisanship in a bitterly divided House of Representatives, on May 13, 2021, H.R. 3076 was reported out of the Oversight and Reform Committee on a voice vote. The legislation must still be considered by the Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce Committees before it can be voted on by the full House.

The most important provision of H.R. 3076 is Section 202, which sensibly codifies the delivery of mail and package together at least six days a week, something that has always been done by the USPS. It has the support of the USPS, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), mailers, shippers, and pro-taxpayer organizations. Eliminating six-day delivery has previously been proposed as a cost-saving measure, but the increased package delivery that USPS is now providing makes that moot.

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