N.M. Senators support postal reform bill
Last Wednesday, the U.S. Senate passed S 1789, the bipartisan 21st Century Postal Act.
Sens. Tom Udall and Jeff Bingaman both supported this bill, which is intended to restructure the U.S. Postal Service. We, along with the National Newspaper Association, support this key step toward restoring the U.S. Postal Service to soundness.
S 1789, authored by Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Thomas Carper (D-Del.) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.), sets up significant changes in postal workers’ benefits, trims the postmaster general’s salary and gives the Postal Service cash to initiate buyouts of retirement-eligible staff.
It also maintains six-day mail delivery and overnight mail service standards for local mail while USPS pursues other cost-cutting measures that do not attack essential services. The bill refunds the USPS billions of dollars in overpayments to the Federal Employees Retirement System, streamlines its structure and operations, adjusts an onerous retiree pre-funding requirement and seeks compromise solutions on controversial issues, such as facility closures and Saturday mail delivery.
“Prematurely ending six-day service would be a drastic and far-reaching change to the Postal Service that disproportionately impacts rural and elderly customers in places like New Mexico,” said Udall. “Cutting Saturday service would also be a potentially debilitating blow to the Postal Service that drives customers away.”
“Quality postal service is extremely important to New Mexicans. Right now, the U.S. Postal Service is struggling to survive,” Bingaman said. “This legislation bolsters the U.S. Postal Service and ensures it will continue to serve New Mexicans and all Americans.”
Action on this issue now moves to the U.S. House of Representatives. House leadership will have the option of taking up HR 2309, a bill by Reps. Darrel Issa (R-Calif.) and Dennis Ross (R-Fla.), that would lead to drastic service cuts, or begin its reform debate with the Senate bill.
“A new postal reform law is still far from reality, but the work done in the Senate last week represents a new commitment by our nation’s leaders to maintaining universal service while undertaking much needed repairs on our nation’s postal system,” said National Newspaper Association President Reed Anfinson, publisher of the Swift County Monitor-News in Benson, Minn.
We applaud Sens. Bingaman and Udall for their support.