McHugh Reintroduces Postal Reform Bill

On the first day of the 109th Congress, Rep. John McHugh, R-NY, chairman of the House Government Reform Committee's postal reform panel, reintroduced his postal reform bill yesterday.

Though the bill reflects the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2004, which was introduced and passed out of the House committee last year, it contains minor changes, a McHugh spokeswoman said.

The bill is not yet numbered.

Most important to DMers, the bill addresses the Civil Service Retirement System issue. It calls for replacing a provision requiring that money owed to the U.S. Postal Service because of an overpayment into the CSRS fund be held in an escrow account. Repeal would free up $78 billion over 60 years, letting the USPS pay off debt to the U.S. Treasury, fund its healthcare liabilities and mitigate rate increases.

If that money isn't released, the postal service has said it will seek a double-digit rate increase for 2006. The USPS is expected to file a rate case in April.

The bill also would return responsibility for funding CSRS pension benefits related to the military service of postal retirees — a $27 billion obligation — to the Treasury Department. No other federal agency has to make this payment.

The bill aims to position the USPS to operate in a more business-like manner. It includes provisions suggested by the President's Commission on the U.S. Postal Service, including mandated transparency regarding the agency's finances, costs and operations.

Melissa Campanelli covers postal news and 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

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