Government affairs

Legislative Updates

Senate committee considers rural postal issues

Today, Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-DE) hosted the third in a series of roundtables dedicated to examining, analyzing and discussing challenges facing the Postal Service—this one focusing on rural communities across the country.

Among the stakeholders present at the informal roundtable were:

  • National Newspaper Association Chief Executive Officer Tonda Rush
  • Office of Accountability and Compliance (OAC) Director Margaret Cigno (a member of the Postal Regulatory Commission)
  • National Association of Postmasters of the United States President Anthony Leonardi
  • National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association counsel Jean Marc Favreau

Members of the panel pointed to systemic problems at USPS due to the decline in service standards that has resulted in complaints from newspaper subscribers and postal customers. Emphasis was placed on the need for Congress to enact consensus reforms that include addressing pre-funding at the Postal Service.

The roundtable was attended by fellow committee members Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Jon Tester (D-MT) and Subcommittee Ranking Member Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND). All of the senators present drew attention to issues facing the Postal Service in rural areas, specifically on the Postal Service’s ability to meet service and delivery standards.

“By reducing services, making product deliveries less timely and increasing the burdens on customers, it’s difficult to see a good path forward for the Postal Service,” Tester said. “But Congress can ensure that the Postal Service becomes financially solvent by making a few basic policy changes so the USPS can remain an important part of rural communities into the future.”

“Getting our mail in a timely manner enables small businesses to ship their products, helps families and seniors get needed prescriptions, and allows individuals to access services beyond their communities,” Heitkamp said. “And these needs are amplified in rural communities that are disproportionately impacted by poor mail delivery. To make sure rural America doesn’t get left behind, we need to pass comprehensive legislation that makes needed reforms to the Postal Service and truly works for rural communities in North Dakota and across the country.”

For more information on the roundtable or to watch the hearing, click here.

Posted In: Government Affairs, - Legislative Activity

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