National Newspaper Association today applauded passage in the U.S. House of Representatives of the USPS Fairness Act, HR 2382. The bill would reverse a Congressional act of 2006 that imposed a heavy financial burden upon the U.S. Postal Service to set aside billions of dollars for future retiree benefits.
NNA President Matt Adelman, publisher of the Douglas (Wyoming) Budget, said he was gratified that the bill drew bipartisan support. It passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 309 to 106. The original sponsors are Reps. Peter DeFazio, D-Oregon, Tom Reed, R-New York, and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pennsylvania.
“This bill is the first step in a long journey to repair the U.S. Postal Service and protect universal postal delivery,” Adelman said. “It puts USPS back on a pay-as-you-go basis for its benefits and protects community newspapers and others from obligations to pay billions in postage dollars to the U.S. Treasury to just sit there until people who aren’t even born yet retire from USPS. Without this burden, USPS will have an opportunity to preserve its business and not drive away mail with escalating postage rates.”
The bill moves to the U.S. Senate where a companion bill, S 2965, has been filed by Sens. Steve Daines, R-Montana, and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii.