McHugh Circulates Draft Version of Postal Reform Bill

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Rep. John McHugh, R-NY, circulated a draft version Friday of postal reform legislation to the postal community.

The legislation centers on three goals: preserving a universal postal system, providing postal management and employees with the tools to adapt and survive in the changing delivery and communications marketplace, and allowing the U.S. Postal Service to play on a level field with its competitors.

The Direct Marketing Association applauded McHugh's effort, saying the bill comes at a dire time, as the USPS is now attempting to push through its third rate increase in 18 months.

"The objective of this legislation is to position the postal service in a more business-like manner," Jerry Cerasale, senior vice president of government affairs at the DMA, said in a statement. "Congress must enact legislation that will allow the postal service to be more responsive to the current business climate and that gives it the incentives to be more competitive. We need a postal service that can maximize its gains, while minimizing wasteful spending."

The USPS has been hit with lowering mail volume and escalating operational costs. In its last fiscal year, which ended Sept. 7, it lost an estimated $1.65 billion. Last month, it filed for a $6.1 billion increase in postage rates, which would be in addition to the $3 billion in increases implemented in January and July.

McHugh, who serves on the House Committee on Government Reform, also introduced postal reform legislation last year, but the bill died in committee.

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