Congress looks to give USPS $500 million to sanitize mail

House and Senate conferees on Dec. 18 agreed to include a $500 million appropriation for the U.S. Postal Service in the Department of Defense appropriations bill. The funds could be used to offset some costs the USPS will incur to install extra security measures for screening and sanitizing mail from possible bioterrorist attacks.

The Direct Marketing Association believes the decision is a positive first step as long as such an appropriation doesn’t become a “substitute” for postal reform legislation. “We urge the full Congress to accept the conferees’ recommendation,” DMA president/CEO Bob Wientzen said in a statement, adding that cost coverage to defend the purity of the mail “should not be borne by postage ratepayers.”

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