Postal Reform Delayed Until After Election Day; An 'Optimistic' DMA Urges Members to Keep Pressing Congress for Action
September 30, 2006 — While Congressional leaders did not, as had been hoped, take action on postal reform legislation on Friday, DMA remains optimistic that Congress will take up this pressing matter on their return following the November 7 elections. Late into Friday night, DMA continued working with legislators and mailers to reach an agreement on a conference bill that would resolve the differences between the Senate- and House-passed bills.
“We are extremely close to passing postal reform legislation,” said DMA President & CEO John A. Greco, Jr. this morning. “Therefore, we will be working to develop a very aggressive strategy to push this through in Congress’ lame-duck session.”
A Call to Action: Contact Your Members of Congress!
“Once again, today I call on all DMA members to help us enact meaningful postal reform legislation that will make sure that the US Postal Service remains an efficient and effective channel for marketing, charitable fundraising, and customer care, which, in turn, will contribute significantly to the health of our nation’s economy.”
“For those DMA members who already have responded to our previous ‘calls to action,’ thank you because that involvement has helped us to move the reform legislation to the point we are this morning,” Greco said.
“In fact, our members’ response on Friday afternoon – to contact UPS concerning its efforts to hold the legislation – helped. Yesterday, UPS lifted its objections, which DMA appreciates greatly.”
“For our members to explain to their Members of Congress what postal reform legislation will mean to their business or nonprofit organization, their customers or donors, their bottom lines, and their employees will go a long way to helping DMA and our allies press forward with this legislation,” Greco added.
“Congress has not passed a comprehensive postal reform act since 1970,” said Greco. “Clearly, the communications and delivery marketplace has changed dramatically in 36 years. It’s time – way past time, actually – for Congress to take action which reflects all of the changes in the communications marketplace and preserve – and bolster – the Postal Service’s contributions to our economy.”
A ‘Win’ for USPS, Businesses, Nonprofits and Consumers
“DMA and many others in the postal community have been working for a long time to help craft and pass Congressional legislation that is a ‘win’ for the Postal Service, a ‘win’ for American businesses and nonprofit organizations, a ‘win’ for the American consumer, and a ‘win’ for the US economy,” Greco continued. “All of this work has brought us very close to passing, at long last, this much-needed reform legislation. So we must continue to do everything we can in the coming days and weeks to bring this important matter to closure.”
The success or failure of the USPS will have a ripple effect on the rest of the economy. Across the country, approximately $900 billion in commerce and more than 9 million jobs – including more than 700,000 USPS jobs – depend upon the success or failure of the Postal Service. As well, businesses forced to pay higher costs for billing and fulfillment mail would pass those costs along to consumers.
The reforms provided in the current legislation (S. 662 and H.R. 22) will allow the USPS to continue to provide the services that businesses and consumers need at rates they can afford. Financial reforms will allow the USPS to make better use of its revenue stream, and operations reforms will allow it to be more flexible and responsive to the needs of today’s changing communications landscape.
To date, this changing communications environment has affected the USPS. Over the past five years, First-Class mail volume has declined by more than 5.5 billion pieces, while the 6.6 million new residential and commercial delivery points have been added to the USPS workload.
Moreover, periodic rate increases and a steady growth in Standard Mail volume have provided the USPS with the revenue it needs to stay financially viable.
According to Greco, “if commercial mailers continue to be faced with frequent and unpredictable postage increases that far exceed the rate of inflation, DMA and its member companies will be forced to seek more cost-effective means of reaching out to customers. If marketers turn away from the mail as a tool of communications, the ability of the Postal Service to deliver reliable, universal service to homes and businesses nationwide could be in jeopardy.”
Therefore, DMA continues to support final legislation that will:
· Eliminate the escrow account for the over-funding of pension and healthcare costs.
· Reverse the current policy on postal retirement costs for military service.
· Place a hard cap on rate increases.
· Encourage worksharing discounts and negotiated service agreements.
DMA Resources to Help You Contact Members of Congress
To help members communicate with their Members of Congress regarding postal reform, DMA provides the following resources:
· For sample letters, go to http://www.the-dma.org/postal/SampleletterSep06.doc.
· For talking points on postal reform, go to http://www.the-dma.org/postal/talkingpoints_20050610.shtml/
· For “Economic Impact of the Postal Service” data in your state, go to http://www.the-dma.org/postal/postaleconomicimpact.shtml.
· For contact information for your Members of Congress, go to http://congress.nw.dc.us/aim/home.
· For additional information or assistance, please contact Stephanie Hendricks, DMA’s director for public affairs, at email@example.com.
· More information on postal issues is available online at www.the-dma.org/postal.
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