Bill to end ban on shipping of alcohol via US Postal Service is back on the agenda
The USPS Shipping Equity Act – which seeks to end the ban on U.S. Postal Service (USPS) shipping of alcoholic beverages – is back on the US Congressional agenda. The bill’s author, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, issued a statement yesterday (30 July) in which she said that she had the support of 24 co-sponsors from among both Democrat and Republican representatives.
As previously reported, Congresswoman Speier first introduced the bill more than two years ago – on 24 April 2013 – but it was not enacted in the previous sessions of Congress.
In yesterday’s statement, Congresswoman Speier explained why she wanted to end the ban: ““Prohibition is history, and this ban should be too.
“It’s ridiculous that we’re allowing UPS, FedEx, and other companies to ship spirits, wine, and beer to consumers, while banning the U.S. Postal Service from doing the exact same thing. As more states allow direct to consumer delivery, we need to lift this dated ban on so-called ‘spirituous, vinous, malted, fermented, or other intoxicating liquors,’ to give consumers more shipping choices when they check out.”
The bill is endorsed by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, WineAmerica, the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association (NRLCA), the National Association of Postmasters of the United States (NAPUS), the National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU), and the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC).
“The ban puts USPS at a competitive disadvantage against companies like FedEx and UPS, limiting shipping options for manufacturers and customers,” claimed Congresswoman Jackie Speier.
“The bipartisan USPS Shipping Equity Act would allow USPS to ship alcoholic beverages directly from licensed producers and retailers to consumers over the age of 21. According to the Postal Service, the bill would ‘open up an additional and much needed source of revenue’, and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that it would provide USPS with an additional $50 million per year.”
In the US Senate, meanwhile, Senator Cory Booker recently introduced the Postal Innovation Act which sets out a range of “innovative” proposals for cutting costs and driving up revenue at USPS – and the revenue generating ideas include allowing the postal service to ship beer and wine.