House Bill Includes No USPS Emergency Preparedness Funds

Share this content:
The U.S. Postal Service received no emergency preparedness funding in the $66.9 billion fiscal year 2006 Transportation, Treasury, Housing, and Urban Development bill that the House Appropriations Committee passed Tuesday.

House floor action is tentatively scheduled for June 29-30.

The bill provides $87.4 million for the USPS to meet its statutory obligation to provide free mail for the blind, free mailing of absentee balloting materials by members of the armed forces and other U.S. citizens residing abroad and free mailing of balloting materials between state and local officials.

It also appropriated $29 million as part of the Revenue Forgone Reform Act of 1993. The revenue-forgone appropriation is designed to compensate for postal revenue not collected for mail sent at reduced postage rates, such as Nonprofit Standard Mail. This debt repayment would be the 13th of 42 payments on more than $1.2 billion owed to the USPS.

The bill appropriates less money than the USPS asked for, but more than President Bush's 2006 budget proposal published in February.

In testimony before a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee in April, Postmaster General John E. Potter asked for three reimbursements: $29 million for revenue forgone, $108.5 million for statute-imposed costs and $51 million for the cost of equipment to defend against biohazards in the mail.

Potter said the $51 million would be used to deploy biohazard detection and ventilation and filtration systems and construct a mail irradiation facility in the Washington area.

The 108th Congress appropriated $503 million to offset USPS costs for these initiatives, but Potter said the additional funding is needed to complete the installation. The USPS will continue to cover the operating expenses for these systems from its operating budget.

"Both the administration and Congress have recognized that supporting the costs for postal system changes has been a critical element in the enhancement of the security of the nation," Potter said in his testimony. "These costs have been -- and should continue to be -- funded by the government as part of its homeland security activities. These are not costs that should be borne by postal ratepayers."

Potter also said the USPS currently spends about $800,000 of its own funds monthly to irradiate mail destined for Congress, the White House and federal government agencies in Washington.

Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting


Next Article in Direct Mail

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Since 1985, Melissa has helped thousands of companies clean, correct and complete contact data to better target and communicate with their customers. We offer a full spectrum of data quality solutions, including global address, phone, email, and name validation, identify verification - available for batch or real-time processes, in the Cloud or on-premise. Our service bureau provides dedupe, email/phone append and geographic/demographic append services for better targeting and insight. For direct mailers, Melissa offers easy-to-use address management/postal software, list hygiene services and 100s of specialty mailing lists - all with competitive pricing and excellent customer service.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above