As negotiations on developing postal reform legislation continue, the Direct Marketing Association is calling on members of the House and Senate to make sure final legislation is passed before the 109th Congress adjourns.
Postal reform bills are awaiting action by a congressional conference committee. The House has not yet named its conferees, but the Senate has. Reform bill H.R.22 passed last summer, and S.662 passed in February.
The DMA and other mailing industry groups are holding their breath as to waiting to see if postal reform will pass before this session draws to a close. The 109th session ends on Oct. 1, and a lame duck season will begin Nov. 13.
As the mailing community works with members of the House and Senate to forge a compromise bill, DMA continues to support final legislation that will:
- Eliminate the escrow account for the over-funding of pension and healthcare costs.
- Reverse the current policy on postal retirement costs for military service
- Place a hard cap on rate increases
- Encourage worksharing discounts and negotiated service agreements
Over the past five years, First Class Mail volume has declined by more than 5.5 billion pieces, while the 6.6 million new residential and commercial delivery points have been added to the USPS workload, the DMA said.
Periodic rate increases and a steady growth in standard mail volume have provided the agency with the revenue it needs to stay financially viable.
But if commercial mailers continue to be faced with frequent and unpredictable postage increases that far exceed the rate of inflation, DMA and its member companies will be forced to seek a more cost-effective means of reaching out to customers.
The reforms provided in the current legislation will allow the USPS to continue to provide the services that businesses and consumers need at rates they can afford, the DMA said.