Tester Urges Colleagues to Support His Comprehensive Postal Service Reform Legislation
Senator’s bipartisan legislation will ensure long-term, reliable mail service
U.S. Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after his Postal Reform Act passed a key Senate procedural hurdle and moves forward to a final Floor vote:
“The Postal Service is critical to Montana’s economy and our rural way of life. Montanans depend on timely and accurate mail delivery for everything from prescription medication to Social Security benefits to essential services that support small businesses and rural communities. My bipartisan bill will put the USPS on firm financial ground, guarantee delivery 6-days a week, and require more transparency, and I urge all of my colleagues to support it when it comes up for a final vote in the Senate.”
Tester’s bipartisan Postal Reform Act passed the House of Representatives earlier this month. It will put the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) on sound financial footing and ensure long-term, reliable mail service by:
- Six-Day Delivery: Permanently require the Postal Service to maintain its standard of delivering at least six days a week.
- Rural Newspaper Sustainability: Increases special rates for rural newspaper distribution to promote local newspapers.
- Medicare Integration: Requires future Postal Service retirees, who have been paying into Medicare their entire careers, to enroll in Medicare. Currently, roughly a quarter of postal retirees do not enroll in Medicare even though they are eligible. This means USPS is forced to pay higher premiums than any other public or private sector employer. By better integrating Medicare, the Postal Service estimates it could save approximately $22.7 billion over 10 years.
- Eliminating Health Care Prefunding Requirement: Eliminates the 2006 prefunding requirement for retiree healthcare that has added billions in liabilities to the USPS balance sheet. The Postal Service estimates this provision would drastically reduce its prefunding liability allowing it to save $27 billion over 10 years.
- Service Performance Transparency: Requires the Postal Service to develop a public-facing, online dashboard with national and local level service performance data updated each week to provide additional transparency and promote compliance with on-time delivery of mail.
- Non-Postal Services: Allows the Postal Service to partner with State, local, and Tribal governments to offer non-postal services (hunting and fishing licenses, for example) that provide enhanced value to the public, as long as they do not detract from core postal services and provided the agreements cover their costs.
Tester has been Montana’s leading champion holding the USPS accountable. He has repeatedly pushed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to rescind USPS policy changes that have delayed mail, threatened to undermine the agency, and harmed rural America. In 2020, Tester blew the whistle on USPS for removing dozens of mail collection boxes from towns across Montana, leading USPS to pause its removal of collection boxes nationwide until after the November election. Since the beginning of the pandemic, thousands of Montanans have contacted Tester to express concerns about mail delays and their effects on Montana’s frontier communities.