White House Budget Lacks Many USPS Funding Requests

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The $2.5 trillion budget recommendation for fiscal year 2006 submitted to Congress yesterday doesn't include much of the funding requests submitted by the U.S. Postal Service last year.

The USPS Board of Governors approved a request in September that included: $227 million for emergency preparedness funding; $108.5 million for free mail for the blind; and $29 million as part of the Revenue Forgone Reform Act of 1993. This debt repayment would be the 13th of 42 payments on more than $1.2 billion owed to the USPS. This request was submitted to the Office of Management and Budget.

In December, a final request was submitted to the White House from the OMB. It included only $61.7 million for free mail for the blind. This was the amount that was included in Bush's budget recommendation.

Congress now begins its work on the budget.

"It's an annual process that begins now, and we'll have discussions with the House and the Senate appropriations committees and see where it goes," said Mitch King, manager, government relations at the USPS.

The budget report also addressed postal reform and Civil Service Retirement System funding.

In its report, the Bush administration proposes to use "the pension savings provided to the postal service by the Postal Civil Service Retirement System Funding Reform Act of 2003 that would otherwise be held in escrow in 2006 and beyond, to put the postal service on a path that fully funds its substantial retiree health benefits liabilities."

This statement was not included in last year's budget.

The report also said the administration continues to support the "enactment of comprehensive postal reform legislation that is consistent with the report of the President's Commission on the United States Postal Service."

It said the administration "believes that the postal service should continue providing affordable and reliable universal service, while limiting exposure to taxpayers and operating appropriately in the competitive marketplace."

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

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