Federal Manager's Daily Report

Several steps taken in Congress recently regarding mail delivery standards could complicate chances for long-awaited broader reforms, advocates of the reforms have said.

The leading advocate for reform, Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., said after introduction by other senators of bill affecting rural delivery that while the bill will help to jumpstart interest in reforming USPS, “we need a comprehensive solution to fix the Postal Service’s problems, return it to solvency, and allow it to invest and grow in the years to come.”

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The concern of reform advocates is that piecemeal changes will undercut whatever momentum exists for a broader effort and that by taking certain possible changes off the table in advance will make it more difficult to achieve a balanced package that can achieve broad support despite containing provisions objectionable to various interest groups.

The Senate bill for example would restore rural mail delivery standards, impose a two-year moratorium on the closure of additional mail processing plants, require continued six-day mail delivery and protect rural post offices from closures.

Language added to a House spending bill meanwhile would restore prior delivery standards in general, which critics have said also would effectively prevent the closure of more facilities—and potentially even require the reopening of some of those already shuttered.