PROBLEM SOLVERS CAUCUS PRAISES PASSAGE OF BIPARTISAN POSTAL BILL

February 5, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON - Today, February 5, 2020, the Problem Solvers Caucus praised its colleagues and fellow Caucus Members Rep. Xochitl Torres-Small (D-NM), Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), on the Consensus Calendar win with passage of their bill, H.R. 2382, the USPS Fairness Act. The bill was also introduced by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR). The bill received priority consideration on the House floor by having more than 290 bipartisan cosponsors, an instrumental new House rule the Problem Solvers Caucus led the fight for earlier this Congress.

The USPS Fairness Act, fully repeals the United States Postal Services’ prefunding mandate, reverting back to a pay-as-you-go system so that the Postal Service can focus on investing and innovating to better meet its mission of serving every American household and business.

“We care about the Postal Service’s financial well-being and will continue to use our position in Washington to ensure hardworking postal carriers around the country have health benefits in retirement,” said Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Tom Reed. “However, this government mandate is unfair. We hope by resolving this issue the USPS will be able to focus on improving their service’s for people without the worry of this long term financial burden hurting their bottom line.”

 “I'm incredibly proud that meaningful changes to the House rules — brought about through the hard work of the Problem Solvers Caucus — is helping ensure that bipartisan legislation receives priority consideration on the House floor," said Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chair Josh Gottheimer. "Today's passage of United States Postal Service Fairness Act, a bipartisan bill with more than 290 co-sponsors, will allow the Postal Service to better focus on investing in the essential services postal workers provide for customers every day."

“USPS is the only entity which is mandated to prefund its retirees’ health benefits,” said Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick. “This law has put the Postal Service in a horrible financial position which has prevented USPS from investing in services to benefit our community. I was proud to join my colleagues to introduce this legislation which will allow the postal service to devote resources to critical services its employees deliver to our community.”

“The Postal Service and the postal workers who deliver our mail nearly every day are critical to our communities,” said Rep. Anthony Brindisi. “Our postal workers ensure our businesses can stay open, bills can get paid on time, prescriptions are delivered, and much more. This bill, supported by members of both parties, will end an unfair government mandate, protect our postal service, and give them the flexibility they need to maintain the high level of universal service we’ve come to expect.”

“The passage of the USPS Fairness Act is a bipartisan win for people across the nation,” said Rep. Salud Carbajal. “This bill removes a burden on the postal service and helps improve its function at no cost to taxpayers. I’m proud we could come together across the aisle to bring forward a bill that will remove an unfair double standard, and I’m thrilled that it passed the House today.”

“The USPS Fairness Act passing the House today is a great example of the Problem Solvers Caucus leading the way and bringing members of both parties together for solutions that benefit all Americans,” said Rep. Bill Johnson. “This legislation would repeal the government mandate that USPS “pre-fund” decades’ worth of health benefits for its future retirees, which has cost the USPS an average of $5.4 billion annually since 2007. No other federal agency or private enterprise in America is required to prefund retiree health benefits. I am hopeful that this legislation will allow USPS to improve their operational outlook and invest in new services and technologies.”

“Today’s consideration of the USPS Fairness Act is significant for two reasons,” said Rep. Dan Lipinski. “The bill itself will greatly improve the USPS’s financial standing, and its passage is a testament to the success of bipartisan congressional reforms like the consensus calendar, which was created with the support of the Problem Solvers Caucus.”

“The postal service is an incredibly important public service and essential to the fabric of our communities. However, the pre-funded mandate has placed a financial burden on USPS that they cannot afford, said Rep. Tom Suozzi. “This bill will help to reduce costs for USPS so that they can focus on devoting resources to continue providing service for the millions of Americans that rely on them to connect with their loved ones around the country.”

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The Problem Solvers Caucus is a bipartisan group in Congress comprising 48 members – equally divided between Democrats and Republicans – who are committed to forging bipartisan cooperation on key issues. It is co-chaired by Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY).