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Senate Passes Comprehensive Bipartisan Bill Overhauling the Postal Service

Senate Passes Comprehensive Bipartisan Bill Overhauling the Postal Service

The Senate passed sweeping bipartisan legislation on Tuesday to overhaul the US Postal Service’s finances and allow the agency to modernize its operations. Just before the vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that once the legislation passed, postal reform will finally be “signed, sealed and delivered for the American people.” The final vote was overwhelmingly bipartisan 79-19, and the bill now heads to President Joe Biden’s desk for his signature.

The Postal Service Reform Act, which cleared the House last month by 342-92, would require retired postal employees to enroll in Medicare when eligible, while also dropping a previous mandate that forced the agency to cover its health care costs years in advance. Those two measures would save the USPS nearly $50 billion over the next decade, according to the House Oversight Committee. The legislation would also require the USPS to create an online dashboard with local and national delivery time data.

Β (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)

While lawmakers from both parties have hailed the legislation as an important step for the USPS, Paul Steidler, a Postal Service expert at the Lexington Institute, told CNN it doesn’t go nearly far enough. “The bill is woefully insufficient because it does nothing to improve mail service. It takes the pressure off of the Postal Service to better understand and to reduce its costs. And it doesn’t sufficiently empower the Postal Regulatory Commission, which right now is very small and has very tiny resources compared to the Postal Service.”

But the bill neither addresses nor removes controversial Postmaster General of the USPS, Louis DeJoy, who has been faulted for all of the negative changes at the Postal Service, a fact that hasn’t escaped Twitter users, who trended “#FireDeJoy” on Wednesday.

 

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