Postal Reform Bill Reintroduced as New Congress Convenes

When the 109th Congress convened in Washington on Jan. 4, catalogers received some encouraging news. Rep. John McHugh (R-NY) wasted no time in reintroducing the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (H.R. 22), which calls for postal reform.

“We’re pleased with Congressman McHugh’s decision to reintroduce the House postal reform bill,” says Jerry Cerasale, the Direct Marketing Association’s senior vice president, government affairs. “While we and others in the business mailing community continue to have a number of concerns about the bill as presently drafted, his action will enable us to pick up where we left off last year and hit the ground running.”

One of the concerns, Cerasale says, is that the postal reform bill as presently constructed allows the U.S. Postal Service to quickly adjust rates without going through the regulatory process.

The bill is working its way through the House Government Reform Committee, chaired by Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-VA). The ranking Democrat on the committee is Henry Waxman (D-CA).

The USPS is expected to file a rate case by April, to go into effect in 2006. The previous postal rate hike took place in 2002.

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