Senators may have worked out a compromise on postal reform legislation stuck in limbo for the past six months, DM News has learned. Sources said the bill may reach the Senate floor for a vote as early as this week.
Mailers have been waiting to see whether the bill (S. 662) sponsored by Sens. Susan Collins, R-ME, and Tom Carper, D-DE, will be taken up by the full Senate. The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved the bill in June. A bill passed the House in July.
Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond, R-MO, placed a hold on the bill last year so he could insert language letting mailers challenge prices for First-Class mail if they think the rates are not “fair and equitable.”
Bond has said his provision, backed by Kansas City, MO-based Hallmark and other companies that rely on First-Class mail, would protect consumers from getting higher postage rates to subsidize discounts for large bulk mailers. Collins has said Bond's language would reduce the U.S. Postal Service's flexibility to set its own rates.
National Association of Letter Carriers members protested at Bond's offices in four Missouri cities in December. The union claimed that after a coordinated offensive by members in Missouri and union officials in Washington, Bond told the news media that a Senate vote on reform could occur in February.
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