WASHINGTON—The House of Representatives, with large bipartisan support, passed the USPS Fairness Act this week. The bill will repeal the retiree health pre-funding mandate that a Republican-led Congress imposed on the Postal Service in 2006. The mandate, which no other federal agency or private company must abide by, required the postal service to pre-fund decades of future retiree benefits while still paying for current retiree benefits—costing the USPS an annual average of $5.4 billion over the past dozen years.
“This bill will finally end the extremely unfair practice imposed on the Postal Service by Congress that has gutted their ability to invest in their workers and services,” said Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva. “Stabilizing USPS will allow the postal service to continue investing in its 600,000 employees while ensuring they can meet the changing postal needs of our nation.”
Budget shortfalls exacerbated by the 2006 mandate have resulted in service cuts and threatened critical postal services such as six-day-delivery and rural postal services. It has also paved the way to calls of privatization, which Rep. Grijalva has strongly opposed.
“The Postal Service should focus on creating innovative solutions to future postal challenges, not overcoming cumbersome obstacles implemented by Congress,” continued Rep. Grijalva. “The postal service is a critical component of our community and the lifeline for Southern Arizona small businesses. I stand with our postal workers and will continue supporting legislation to protect them for generations to come.”
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