Congress is back from its annual August recess this month with little action on postal reform so far this session. There have not been any bills filed in this session on the subject.

During the previous session of Congress, Sen. Ted Carper of Delaware introduced a bill to relieve the Postal Service of the burden of prefunding $5 billion a year to cover the future retirement benefits of active and retired postal employees. The Postal Service has been unable to meet this requirement the past five or six years.

Carper’s bill was similar to the one introduced a few years prior, introduced at that time by Rep. Jason Chaffetz and Rep. Elija Cummings, a bi-partisan effort. That bill and Carper’s died in committee. They were endorsed by the Postal Service, the postal management associations and employee union groups.

This proposed legislation drew opposition from over 1,000 retirees because enactment would require them to enroll in Medicare to retain their enrollment in the federal employees health benefits program. They preferred the federal program at retirement and shunned Medicare. Opposition to the bills also came from the National Association of Active and Retired Federal Employees. Postal retirees enrolled in the federal employees health benefits program is costly to the Postal Service.

The present presidential administration is looking for the privation of the Postal Service. It is estimated that the Postal Service will run out of cash in 2024, in other words, go bankrupt. Is this what is behind any lack of action on postal reform? Once bankrupt, private interests would sweep in and take over the Postal Service.

Walt Borla, Helper