On February 24th, the house held a hearing on Postal Reform. The representatives heard testimonies from all stakeholders of the mailing industry. Giving testimony was Postmaster General (PMG) DeJoy, Board of Governors Chairman Ron Bloom, Chief Inspector General Whitcomb, American Postal Workers Union (APWU) President Dimondstein, and Joel Quadracci for C21 as an industry representative.
The house presented a draft document of three items they intend to move forward with as a bill. The three matters include service compromise, Medicare integration, and pre-funding repeal, all of which the witnesses supported.
Per the PMG, “we’re not out to profit, we’re out to break even. That’s all this is about,” he said, contending that “legislation, “operational improvements,” and potential price increases are necessary next steps for the Postal Service. “
Per Postmaster General DeJoy, pricing is one lever that they may use, and yes, if they do not get the ability to use the other levers (network efficiencies identified in their yet to be released strategic plan and Postal Reform Legislation as discussed today) then they would need the full pricing lever.
Concerning the upcoming USPS strategic 10-year plan, many expressed concern with rumored changes to first-class service standards and elimination of air transport services. The PMG said that the service changes that they are considering will impact no more than 30% of first class mail, and since they are committing to 6 & 7-day delivery the change would likely be one more day.
Absent from the proposed postal reform language was any directive to the PRC to take back the final rule on rate making for review and bring into consideration factors that were not available to them back in March 2020 when they were drafting the final rule, such as; Covid pandemic impacts to USPS and Industry, positive cash on hand, and $10 b in Covid aid.