April 19, 2022 •
At Last, Postal Reform is Enacted
Our collective success comes thanks to many individual efforts
After fifteen years of intensive effort, the President signed into law the Postal Service Reform Act. This is a tremendous accomplishment. It is said that victory has a thousand parents but defeat is an orphan. In that vein, it is certainly appropriate to recognize the leadership of Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Jim Comer (R-KY) and Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Rob Portman (R-OH), who shepherded the most recent version of postal reform through to enactment this Congress.
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Senators Tom Carper (D-DE), Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) have also provided vital support throughout this period and helped guide their colleagues to support this bill. We also compliment Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and the leaders of the postal unions who remained committed to the consensus reform model and provided their full support.
It is also important to recognize the efforts of individuals that were instrumental to this outcome but are no longer serving. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) was the original sponsor of reform legislation that formed the basis of the bill, and former Postmaster General Megan Brennan led the effort to bring all of the stakeholders together in 2015 to hammer out the basic framework of the compromise that eluded everyone for nearly a decade.
We are grateful for the leadership of our immediate past president, George White, who masterfully led the GCA’s public affairs engagement for much of this effort. It is no accident that Sen. Portman turned out to be a leader on postal reform in sharp contrast to his predecessors. George consistently engaged the Senator and led our Ohio members in conveying our support for postal reform. We also applaud the efforts of current GCA President Amy McAnarney and Public Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Shoaf who sustained those efforts and ensured they reached a successful conclusion.
Throughout this effort, GCA members provided expertise in ad hoc social media advocacy programs, and more recently the Keep US Posted campaign helped provide a platform for both GCA members, our industry partners, and the public to push Congress to act, delivering tens of thousands of emails and messages to Congress over the last several years.
GCA members also played a big role in responding to those engagement opportunities. Over the years they stepped up to join the campaigns and add names to letters to Congress. GCA staff ensured that the membership received the information about these opportunities and made certain that the GCA’s social media program supported them.
In the original meeting led by Postmaster General Brennan, GCA was one of only a handful of mailing groups at the table where this bill was negotiated because of its leadership on postal issues. Later, GCA mobilized industry support for including the provision to make the 6-day delivery standard permanent, and our counsel provided the original legislative language to accomplish it.
GCA was one of the key leaders in shaping this bill by defeating counterproductive measures early in the process, determining the content of a good compromise, and bringing in the permanent 6-day delivery standard which eliminates the need for annual renewal that has taken place since the early 1980s. The bill also reduces USPS liabilities by $55 billion, stabilizing USPS finances and providing the opportunity for stability and predictability for stamp prices.
This bill is a huge step forward, but there is more work to do. The Postal Regulatory Commission must ensure that the rate limits for our citizen mailer customers and all mailers reflect the financial benefits from the new law. Congress must recognize that we live in a dynamic world with new challenges emerging all the time and should be prepared to take further action to ensure the stability of the USPS. Postal legislation should not be a once-in-a-generation proposition.
GCA will continue to advocate for our members and customers to achieve these goals and address new challenges and with your support, will continue to have a tangible impact on outcomes to sustain our industry