Government affairs

Legislative Updates

USPS Fairness Act Reintroduced in House and Senate

This week, the USPS Fairness Act was reintroduced in the House (H.R. 695) and Senate (S. 145). Both bills would repeal the mandate that the Postal Service “pre-fund” decades’ worth of health benefits for its future retirees, enacted through the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) of 2006.

In the House, the bill was reintroduced by House Transportation and Infrastructure Chair Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY), House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Collin Allred (D-TX) along with 219 bipartisan original cosponsors. Exceeding 218 cosponsors demonstrates that a majority of Congress supports the measure making it more likely to be considered on the House floor. As letter carriers recall, the USPS Fairness Act passed last Congress by a vote of 309-106.

In the Senate, the bill was reintroduced by Sens. Steve Daines (R-MT) and Brian Schatz (D-HI).

The pre-funding mandate has cost an average of $5.2 billion annually since 2007 and is responsible for 84 percent of USPS losses over the last fourteen years. Last Congress, just as momentum was building following the House vote, Covid-19 and Senate Leadership refused to act on the bill. Fortunately, with new Senate Leadership and a strong desire to address this mandate, coupled with support for repeal from the new administration and the Postal Service, the landscape is favorable for repealing the mandate.

“Last Congress, our effort to repeal the prefunding mandate was derailed by Covid-19,” said President Fredric Rolando. “We appreciate the leadership of the members in the House and Senate to bring the USPS Fairness Act back to the forefront of its legislative agenda. Eliminating this mandate is critical to our success on postal reform efforts. NALC remains committed to working with Congress on all options that can bring financial stability to this agency so that we can continue to serve the public.”

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