Government affairs

Legislative Updates

Inflation Reduction Act under consideration in Congress, includes funding for Postal Service vehicle fleet

After months of stalled negotiations among Democratic Senators, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced a deal on July 27 on a comprehensive energy, climate, healthcare and tax package. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 would invest $433 billion in energy, climate and healthcare provisions, raise an estimated $739 billion through an updated corporate tax code, and reduce the national deficit by $300 billion over the next decade.

In relation to the Postal Service, the legislation includes $3 billion for the agency, with $1.29 billion for purchasing zero-emission delivery vehicles and $1.71 billion for installing the necessary infrastructure to support the vehicles at USPS facilities.

“NALC is pleased to see funding to replace the Postal Service’s aging vehicle fleet included in this legislation,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “Equipping the nation’s letter carriers with safe and reliable vehicles is essential, and we appreciate the support of Congress.”

Overall, the legislation would provide $369 billion in funding for climate provisions including investments in clean manufacturing and electric vehicle and clean energy tax credits for consumers. It would lower the cost of prescription drugs for many Americans by allowing Medicare to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies for lower prices and extend Affordable Care Act premium subsidies to 2025.

The legislation would offset these investments through an updated corporate tax code that would provide an estimated $739 billion in revenue. It would impose a 15% minimum tax on all corporations raising an estimated $313 billion and provide $80 billion for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for staffing and technology to increase audits. It would eliminate the “carried interest” tax loophole, a current workaround that allows wealthy fund managers to pay lower taxes than their staff, providing an estimated $14 billion in revenue.

The IRA is a scaled-down version of the original $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act, a key part of the administration’s agenda that passed in the House last year but was ultimately stalled in the Senate. While the IRA includes funding for the Postal Service and provisions that will help letter carriers and their families, paid family leave, child tax credits and free early childcare and community college are notably excluded from this package.

NALC supports the IRA and the critical funding that is included for the Postal Service. We urge both chambers of Congress to pass it and send it to President Biden’s desk.

The Senate plans to vote on the legislation as early as this week. NALC will update letter carriers on any future action. 

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