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Capitol Correspondence - 05.25.21

Big Picture: Congress Tackles Mail Delays and USPS Financial Stability

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During the pandemic, mail delays due to pandemic-induced spikes in demand and changes to the U.S. Postal Service instituted during the Trump administration led to many challenges for people with disabilities. These have included, but are not limited to, difficulties with receiving mail-order prescription drugs and being able to register to vote ahead of states’ deadlines. As a matter of general interest for the disability community, we share the following article by ASAE:

“A bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation this week to set the ailing U.S. Postal Service (USPS) on better financial footing and restore long-term reliable service across the country.

The bill, introduced by Sens. Gary Peters (D-MI) and Rob Portman (R-OH), would relieve the USPS of $5 billion a year in mandatory retiree health-care expenses and enroll future Postal Service retirees in Medicare. According to Peters and Portman, these two reforms alone would save the Postal Service nearly $46 billion over the next decade.

[…]

The bill would also require USPS to maintain its six-days-a-week delivery standard and improve transparency of Postal Service performance by requiring weekly service data to be published on the USPS website, and issuing a detailed report to Congress on Postal Service finances and operations every six months.

The Postal Service Reform Act of 2021 is identical to legislation that has advanced in the House. The Senate bill already has nine Republican co-sponsors in addition to Portman, which means it could survive a potential filibuster if the Senate’s 50 Democrats also support the bill.”