Carper Won't Give Up on Postal Reform in 2014

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The postal reformer issues a challenge to fellow senators to pass his bill during the current Congress and "save the Postal Service before it's too late."


Sen.Tom Carper (D-DE), who along with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), drafted the Postal Reform Act of 2014 (PRA), remains adamant that the bill stay true to its name and be passed within this calendar year. Following up on a letter signed by 50 Senators last week protesting the planned closure of 82 postal facilities, Carper issued a statement holding that the Postal Service “continues to dangle on the edge of collapse.” He urged his colleagues to pass the bill during the current Congress—which concludes on January 3—and “save the Postal Service before it's too late.”

Both houses of Congress are on summer recess and won't reconvene until September 8. Since many members will be engaged in midterm elections through November, postal authorities and bulk mailers alike have voiced skepticism that postal reform could be passed this year.

But insiders on Capitol Hill relate that Carper has continued to engage Senate leadership in conversations on Postal Reform in hopes that PRA can be discussed next month and brought to the floor for a vote during November's lame duck session. Sources within the Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee—which Carper chairs and which has purview over postal matters—would not chronicle Carper's activities, except to note that he is aggressively pushing for passage of the bill.

“Chairman Carper continues to work closely with Dr. Coburn, his Senate colleagues, postal leadership, and stakeholders on a path forward for the Postal Reform Act of 2014,” a committee spokesperson told Direct Marketing News.

In his statement this week, Carper was forthright in issuing a challenge to his Senate colleagues. “This latest round of closures isn't the first time the U.S. Postal Service has had to implement potentially damaging cost-cutting measures on its own in order to reduce costs. In the absence of comprehensive postal reform, it probably won't be the last,” Carper wrote. “If my colleagues want to address these concerns for the long haul, I urge them to join me this September as we continue our efforts to fix the serious, but solvable, financial challenges facing the Postal Service.”

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