Senator Carper introduces iPOST bill
Senator Tom Carper yesterday (17 September) introduced the Improving Postal Operations, Service, and Transparency Act of 2015 (iPOST). In a statement issued through the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Senator Carper said that the iPOST bill “includes a comprehensive package of reforms that would place the Postal Service on firm financial footing, stabilize and improve service performance, allow for the development of new products and services, and enhance transparency”.
Carper said that the Postal Service is an important part of the US economy but is struggling with “financial challenges that threaten its future”.
The Delaware Senator outlined just how big these challenges are: “The Postal Service currently owes $15 billion and faces tens of billions of dollars more in unfunded pension and health care obligations in the years to come. It ended fiscal year 2014 with a net loss of $5.5 billion, bringing its cumulative deficit since fiscal year 2007 to $51.7 billion, according to the Postal Regulatory Commission.”
Senator Carper said that the legislation he has put before the Senate “reflects the views of a broad range of stakeholders” , adding that he believed “it can help pave the way to a thoughtful compromise on a set of difficult issues that Congress and the Postal Service have struggled with for years, giving the Postal Service, its employees, and its customers some badly-needed stability and certainty”.
The key measures proposed by the iPOST bill include:
- installing a two-year moratorium on further US Postal Service (USPS) plant closures
- applying greater transparency to service performance
- requiring the preservation of current service standards for the next five years.
- making the exigent rate surcharge permanent
- freezing rates until January 1, 2018, when the Postal Regulatory Commission will be required to establish a new rate setting system
- establishing a separate Postal Service health insurance plan within the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and managed by the Office of Personnel Management.
Click here to view a PDF of the full 221-page iPOST bill.