WV’s senators introduce bill to reform postal service

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The United States Postal Service logo is seen on a mailbox outside a post office in Los Angeles, California, August 17, 2020. – The United States Postal Service is popularly known for delivering mail despite snow, rain or heat, but it faces a new foe in President Donald Trump. Ahead of the November 3 elections in which millions of voters are expected to cast ballots by mail due to the coronavirus, Trump has leveled an unprecedented attack at the USPS, opposing efforts to give the cash-strapped agency more money as part of a big new virus-related stimulus package, even as changes there have caused delays in mail delivery. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) have introduced a bill to financially stabilize the United States Postal Service.

According to the senators, the Postal Service Reform Act would also support providing long-term, nationwide reliable service, strengthen transparency and accountability for Postal Service performance, eliminate unnecessary financial burdens and ensure the Postal Service can better serve the public.

“The United States Postal Service is vital to our nation’s economy, small businesses, and the daily lives of many Americans. But in recent years, USPS has faced significant challenges in delivering reliable, timely service without skyrocketing the costs for the American people. Many of these issues were due to poor leadership at USPS and the onerous requirements imposed by Congress,” said Manchin. “Our bipartisan bill addresses this instability at USPS while also seeking to provide long-term reliable service for every American, no matter where they live.”

The senators say the bill would also eliminate the “aggressive” prefunding requirement Congress previously imposed that they say has “hurt the Postal Service financially.” It would also integrate retired postal workers’ health care with Medicare.

Combined, the two reforms would save the Postal Service approximately $45.9 billion in savings over the next 10 years, according to the senators. They say the 10-year reorganization recently announced by the postmaster general ignores the issues and “compromises services” by reducing hours at some post offices and closing other post offices, which Manchin and Capito say would increase costs for Americans.

“I have heard from so many fellow West Virginians over the past several months with their thoughts about our current Postal System. It’s past time to address the frustration many have voiced to me about service and delivery times, which have only worsened during the pandemic,” Capito said. “This legislation puts USPS on firm and more solid financial footing, provides better transparency and accountability given recent delays in service due to COVID-19 restrictions, and allows smaller postal facilities to provide additional services, like state hunting and fishing license, that serve local needs.”

The senators say 18 bipartisan senators have joined them on the bill. The full text of the Postal Service Reform Act is available online here.

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