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House and Senate Legislation to Repeal USPS Prefunding Requirement Introduced

Posted by Frank Augustosky on 02/04/21

The USPS Fairness Act (HR 695/S145) was introduced this week in the US House and US Senate. The bill repeals the requirement to prefund Postal Service health and retirement benefits as mandated under the PAEA of 2006.

In the House the bill is sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Rep. Peter A. DeFazio (D-OR), Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Rep. Colin Alred (D-TX). It has already garnered 223 cosponsors (218 is a majority). Maloney chairs the House Oversight and Reform Committee that has jurisdiction over postal legislation, increasing the likelihood the bill will come up for consideration. Maloney was quoted on Monday saying, she is “laser-focused on fixing the Postal Service’s financial problems” and that Congress should quickly pass the bill. Rep. DeFazio said the Biden White House could make that happen, as Biden pledged during his campaign to repeal the mandate.

In the Senate the bill is sponsored by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), and Kevin Cramer (R-ND). In describing their motivation for the bill Sen. Schatz said, "There is no reason we should be requiring the USPS to pre-fund its future health and retirement benefits.”

Last year, the House passed the USPS Fairness Act by a 309-106 vote. It never received a vote in the Senate.

UPMA believes in repealing the prefunding requirement and continues to fight for reforms that will strengthen the USPS in the long term – while protecting Postmasters and Managers pay and benefits. All postal labor unions expressed their support for the change.