“This long-overdue legislation will strengthen the Postal Service so it can better serve the American people.”
A day after overcoming a filibuster, the Postal Service Reform Act passed the evenly split Senate in a 79-19 vote, with several Republicans joining Democrats to send the bill to President Joe Biden’s desk.
“Every day tens of millions of Americans rely on the post office for their daily essentials—seniors and veterans, small business owners, small-town rural Americans, people waiting for wedding invitations, birthday cards, letters—so we know that the Postal Service is really beloved,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) at a press conference after the vote.
The U.S. Postal Service is “an important institution in American life” and was long in need of a revamp, he added, calling the bill’s passage a win for bipartisanship, postal workers, and the public.
“Every day the Postal Service faithfully delivers for the American people and today the Senate is finally delivering for the post office,” declared Schumer, flanked by Democratic and Republican colleagues.
National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) president Fredric Rolando said in a statement that “this is a monumental victory for letter carriers and all Americans who depend on the Postal Service for affordable and high-quality universal service.”
“I want to congratulate and thank all the NALC members who lobbied their members of Congress to win passage in the Senate and the House,” he added. “Thanks to your support, dedication, and action, bipartisan postal reform, that was 12 years in the making, has finally passed in both chambers.”
The $107 billion compromise package, which the House advanced with a 342-92 vote in February, will make future Postal Service retirees enroll in Medicare—ending a costly mandate forcing the USPS to prefund health benefits—and require the creation of a new online mail tracking system.
“This long-overdue legislation will strengthen the Postal Service so it can better serve the American people,” tweetedSen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.).
The bill was even supported by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, an appointee of former President Donald Trump who has faced multiple scandals.
The Senate vote comes as DeJoy is under fire for a USPS plan to buy gas-powered delivery trucks in spite of President Joe Biden’s proposed transition to zero-emission government vehicles.
“DeJoy’s environmental review is rickety, founded on suspect calculations, and fails to meet the standards of the law,” said Earthjustice senior attorney Adrian Martinez last month. “We’re not done fighting this reckless decision.”
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