Thank you for contacting me about the Postal Reform Act of 2011. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.
As you know, the U.S. Postal Service is an independent, federally chartered organization. The Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 eliminated the U.S. Post Office Department and replaced it with the Postal Service, which is chartered to perform as a business enterprise with the primary mission of delivering the mail to all parts of the country at uniform rates. The Postal Service is also mandated to operate on a self-supporting, break-even basis, with particular emphasis on restraining postal rate increases. The Postal Service has been subject to many of the recent financial and economic pressures experienced by businesses, including significant competition in the non-letter mail services it provides, as well recent decreases in letter mail due to the upsurge in electronic communications. As a quasi-government entity, the Postal Service has several important advantages over its competitors including a letter-mail monopoly and a tax-free status. However, the Postal Service also faces significant challenges that its competitors do not because it is required to provide service to all areas of the country. On June 23, 2011, Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) introduced the Postal Reform Act of 2011 (H.R. 2309). This legislation would implement structural reforms of the Postal Service with the goals of reducing costs and inefficiencies. This includes moving the Postal Service to five-day delivery, allowing postal rate increases for underperforming products, and amending current law that governs the closure process for postal facilities. These reforms would be initiated by two new oversight bodies, one of which would have the ability to modify existing collective bargaining contracts if the Postal Service were to default on financial obligations to the federal government. H.R. 2309 was referred to the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, where is it currently awaiting further review. I believe it is important that the USPS provides service to all Americans in a timely fashion. The USPS does have an obligation to conduct business in a fiscally responsible fashion that will optimize all services, including drop-off and delivery, for consumers. Please be assured I will take your comments into account should I have the opportunity to consider H.R. 2309 or similar legislation in the U.S. Senate.
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United States Senator
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