Government affairs

Legislative Updates

House committee advances funding for Postal Service vehicle fleet

Today, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform (COR) held a markup to consider their committee’s allocations for the recently passed Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 (S. Con. Res. 14). The committee voted to approve and transmit their recommendations to the House Committee on the Budget.

COR’s total allocation was $7.5 billion to implement President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda, which prioritizes electrifying the federal government’s fleet, including the Postal Service. Initially, COR planned to provide $2.4 billion for postal vehicles and related charging infrastructure. Due to successful lobbying efforts by NALC on the critical need for an upgraded Postal Service fleet, the total funding increased to $7 billion after an amendment introduced by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) was passed.

Of the $7 billion, $3 billion will cover the cost of electric vehicles and $4 billion will be used for charging infrastructure. This is $4.6 billion more than the $2.4 billion that was included for the Postal Service in the original bill. During the hearing, lawmakers reported that the $7 billion figure will also be mirrored by the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee (HSGAC), which is good news for overall prospects of securing this important funding to upgrade desperately needed vehicles for letter carriers.

“The benefits of these electric vehicles go well beyond the protection of our climate and human health,” said Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) in her opening statement. “Electric vehicles have been shown to cost an average of 20 to 25 percent less over the life of a vehicle as a result of reduced fuel and maintenance costs.”

Several Democratic representatives spoke in support of the amendment to increase funding for the Postal Service vehicle fleet and charging stations.

"The electrification of our Postal Service fleet will reduce carbon pollution to the great benefit of the health, safety, and sustainability of our communities," said Rep. Lynch.

The COR allocations also include funding to fully electrify the General Services Administration (GSA) vehicle fleet, and funding for the National Archives to hasten the processing of veterans’ record requests. Additionally, it provides funds to implement President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, an effort to ensure that at least 40% of the benefits of climate and infrastructure investments go to underserved communities. The Government Accountability Office and inspectors general will also receive funding to provide oversight and accountability.

The COR’s allocations will be included with the larger budget resolution reconciliation package, which Democratic lawmakers are actively crafting. Democrats are aiming to finalize the budget resolution reconciliation package, which will only require 51 votes in the Senate as opposed to the 60 vote threshold required in regular order, and hold a vote on it before the end of the month. NALC will continue to monitor the budget resolution as it moves through Congress. 

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