Postal Reform: Letter Carriers Prepare to Hit the Ground Running in 2017

NALC Legislative Update

Although the 114th Congress was not able to take up postal reform before the end of the year, the NALC Legislative and Political Affairs Department is preparing to hit the ground running when lawmakers return to Washington, DC, on Jan. 3 to begin the 115th Congress.

Where we left off
Throughout 2016, NALC worked with a broad coalition, which included the Postal Service, postal-service-logothe mailing industry and other postal unions, to educate lawmakers on the priorities we agreed on. The only official postal reform bills introduced in the 114th Congress included the Postal Service Reform Act of 2016 (H.R. 5714), the Postal Service Financial Improvement Act of 2016 (H.R. 5707), and the Improving Postal Operations, Service and Transparency (iPost) Act of 2015 (S. 2051). H.R. 5707 was expected to become part of the House’s final reform package. To compare the differences between both H.R. 5714 and S. 2051, click here.

H.R. 5714 was put together by leaders of the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee (OGR), including Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Mark Meadows (R-NC), Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Stephen Lynch (D-MA). In July, it was marked up and approved by the full committee. Most recently, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) unveiled a cost-estimate for the measure stating that the proposal would increase federal spending by $0.2 billion. The bill was awaiting floor action, but a late score and busy House calendar prevented further movement.

S. 2051, which was introduced by Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) was never taken up by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC).

Up until the end of the 114th Congress, leaders of both the House and Senate committees worked behind the scenes to address differences in their bills in the event there was time for them to move in either chamber. NALC appreciates the work of the leaders on the OGR Committee and is committed to working with them again in the 115th.

Looking to the 115th
There’s still work to be done, though. One of the most important things letter carriers can do is to put a human face on the work that we do. Postal reform came close to being considered before the full House this year, which means it’s important that we build on, and strengthen, our relationships with our members of Congress. To get started, get in touch with your district’s letter carrier congressional liaison to learn more about your state’s congressional delegation and where your representatives in Congress stand on our issues.

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