New Postal Bills Percolating in Congress

Posted by Bob Levi on 06/15/18

On June 14, Reps. Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA) reintroduced H.R. 756 -- but under a new bill number, H.R. 6076. The reason for reintroducing the bill is that H.R. 756 carried the sponsorship of retired Rep. Jason Chaffetz.

On June 13, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs approved S. 1204, the Post Office Discontinuance Accountability Act. The legislation, introduced by Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Jerry Moran (R-KS), seeks to protect small and rural post offices from indefinite “temporary emergency closures” by improving the transparency and accountability of the Postal Service’s temporary suspension process.

Also, on June 13, the House Appropriation Committee approved the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill that includes provisions to: provide the USPS $58 million to finance free mail for the blind and overseas voting, maintain 6-day residential mail delivery, prohibit the use of appropriated funds to close or consolidate small and rural post offices, and require the USPS to reimplement the July 1, 2012, service standards for first-class mail.

Finally, on June 14, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5788, “Securing the International Mail Against Opioids Act of 2018. The legislation, introduced by Representatives Mike Bishop (R-MI) and Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), seeks to curtail the entry of opioids into the United States through international mail. The measure would require the Postal Service to obtain advance electronic data on “inbound Express Mail Service” parcels, permitting law enforcement officials to target inbound illicit drug shipments.The legislation would authorize the Postal Service to recover the additional costs associated with implementation of H.R. 5788 from foreign shippers and foreign postal operations. However, UPMA is concerned about a provision in the bill that would subject the Postal Service to civil penalties if the agency does not meet the compliance standards specified in the bill. On June 12, Sens. Robert Portman (R-OH) introduced S. 3035, the Senate companion to House bill.