The chances of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (H.R. 4341) being passed before the end of this session of Congress are slim. But they do exist.
“There’s still the possibility of getting this reform bill through and on the president’s desk this year,” says Jerry Cerasale, senior vice president, government affairs, for the Direct Marketing Association. “And with a lame duck session of Congress, that will greatly improve its chances.” Members of Congress, particularly those who won’t be retaining their seats after the election, typically come back to work after election day to try to close out unfinished business.
The bill was unanimously approved out of the House Committee on Government Reform in May. The Senate version of the bill (S. 2468) on June 2 was also unanimously approved out of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee. The Senate bill included a four-year time limit proposal for postal discounts so that they don’t undercut true savings made by the Postal Service.
Even if postal reform doesn’t reach the president’s desk this year, “we’ll push it early on from where we left off next year, rather than going back to the beginning,” Cerasale says. “So if we don’t get it this year, we’re not giving up. But then we haven’t given up on this year yet—we’ll keep working on it.”