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Carper’s Postal Reform Bill Expected This Week

By Jun 16, 2003

A reform bill that would also make it easier for the U.S. Postal Service to set prices and close facilities is expected to be introduced later this week by Sen. Thomas Carper, (D-DE).

This bill would set up two new categories of mail: Market Dominant (first class, periodical and standard Mail) and Competitive (Priority, International and Parcel Post) which would have separate rate structures.

This proposal is also expected to rename the Postal Rate Commission into the Postal Regulatory Commission and change its duties somewhat.

What’s more, the bill would also set up a commission that would make mandatory recommendations about which postal facilities must close and Congress would have to accept all or none of these proposals.

“This way, you couldn’t have one Congressman saying, ‘Close every facility except those in my district’,” said Bob McLean, executive director of the Mailers Council, who withheld judgment on the bill until it is actually introduced.

Carper planned to introduce this bill as long ago as last June right after the House Government Reform Committee killed HR 4970, a wide-ranging postal reform bill spearheaded by Rep. John McHugh (R-NY), much to the chagrin of the industry (Direct Newsline, Aug. 23, 2002).

It was unclear at deadline how Carper’s bill would fare in when the President’s Commission on the U.S. Postal Service delivers its report at the end of July.