Experts: New Postal Bill to Be Introduced Soon

DENVER — Postal experts told attendees at the National Postal Forum that they are almost certain postal reform legislation will be introduced soon by Rep. John McHugh, who serves on the House Committee on Government Reform.

Last month, the New York Republican began circulating a draft version of his bill, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, to the mailing community.

The objective of the bill is to position the U.S. Postal Service to operate in a more businesslike manner. According to the bill, the system must respond to market considerations and provide clear incentives for postal management and the USPS as an institution.

So far, the mailing community, including the Direct Marketing Association, has reacted positively to the draft.

Kevin Richardson, R.R. Donnelley's vice president of government relations, told a group attending an event sponsored by his company yesterday that a bill “will probably be introduced by the end of the month and may get through the full Committee before adjournment of the First Session of Congress.”

Insiders are saying that Congress may adjourn before Thanksgiving this year.

Bob McLean, executive director of the Mailers Council, said a bill should be introduced by the end of this month or the beginning of next month.

Richardson said that while lawmakers seemed to show an interest in the postal service earlier this year, after the events of Sept. 11, Congress has turned away from the issue. Ironically, he said, the anthrax scare and “the importance of making sure we have a postal service that remains safe and reliable” might bring the attention of Congress back to the subject.

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