Collins, Carper to Introduce Postal Bill in Senate Today

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Sens. Susan Collins, R-ME, chair of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, and Tom Carper, D-DE, will introduce postal reform legislation today, according to a staff aide.

A draft version of the bill was introduced last week. In general, it contained measures applauded by the mail industry, including language on the Civil Service Retirement System escrow fund and military pension benefits.

The draft was similar to a House bill, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2004, which passed out of committee May 12. This bill could be taken up on the floor by the end of June.

Collins' and Carper's draft would: preserve universal service; simplify the rate-setting process; make rate increases less frequent and more predictable; guarantee a higher degree of transparency to ensure fair treatment of postal customers; require that all future governors of the postal service be selected based on their track record managing organizations or corporations of substantial size; and give the USPS the authority to transition individuals receiving workers' compensation to a retirement annuity when the affected individual reaches age 65.

Meanwhile, a coalition of 156 business and nonprofit organizations has endorsed the Senate legislation. In a letter sent to senators Tuesday, members of the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service wrote: "You recognized that in order to protect American jobs and to keep the U.S. Postal Service -- a cornerstone of the U.S. economy for over 200 years -- healthy, viable and affordable well into the future, Congress should act now to pass postal reform legislation."

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