November 2, 2011


Thank you for contacting me regarding the Postal Reform Act.  It is an honor to represent the people of Southwest Washingtonand I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) continues to provide Americans with an invaluable service obligation to homes and businesses across the country, ensuring that mail is delivered in an affordable and timely manner.  The Postal Service faces significant, long-term financial pressures and budget shortfalls caused by reduced mail volume, revenues, and the burden of prefunding retiree health benefits.  It is important to note that the USPS is subject to federal government oversight, but the USPS supports itself through the sales of postal services and does not receive taxpayer dollars.

The Postal Reform Act would create the Postal Service Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority to restructure the USPS and reduce its costs.  It would also create the Commission on Postal Reorganization to review the USPS network and infrastructure and recommend closures and consolidations, which would go into effect unless rejected by Congress.  The goal of this legislation is to provide structural and financial reforms to the USPS to cut costs.

The Act would be the most fundamental reform of the USPS since it was created from the former Post Office Department in 1971.  As introduced, I do have several concerns .  For example, one of the provisions authorizes an additional $10 billion in borrowing authority from the U.S. Treasury.  Another concern is the Act does not address some core issues necessary to return the Postal Service to financial stability, including the need to decrease or suspend the current mandates requiring retiree health benefit pre-payments, which costs the Postal Service $5.5 billion annually until 2016.

While I recognize the need to preserve services that many Americans consider essential, such as six-day delivery and universal postal coverage, we must make sure the USPS makes the changes necessary to survive.  I am committed to working with my colleagues in Congress to ensure that the Postal Service fulfills its obligation as well as to help improve the Postal Service’s efficiency.

Thank you again for contacting me on this important issue. I invite you to visit my website at for additional information or to sign up to be kept up to date on these issues. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can ever be of assistance.
Jaime Herrera Beutler
Member of Congress

(NOTE: The correspondence I sent her on this issue was through a website where you fill in the blocks and input the letter.  I did not save the information and that is why the original letter is not shown here.  Anyone who knows my positions on these issues can easily fill in the blanks and figure out what I would have said….)

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