The Postal Service Reform Act Extends a Timely Helping Hand

By Zach Brown

Hooray! After nearly a dozen years of passionate activism, policy work, hearings, studies, and collective justified frustration, the Postal Service Reform Act was finally signed into law by President Biden earlier this month.

In comments at the signing, President Biden strongly declared, “Today we enshrine into law our recognition that the Postal Service is fundamental to our economy, to our democracy, to our health and the very sense of who we are as a nation….”

We at Public Citizen couldn’t agree more!

This transformative, bipartisan piece of legislation is definitely a reason to celebrate! By eliminating the harmful requirement that the United States Postal Service (USPS) prefund future retiree health insurance and instead automatically enrolling retirees into Medicare, this legislation could free up an estimated $46 billion for the Postal Service over the next decade. Talk about a timely upgrade.

And if you were worried about the new law affecting delivery times, it’s got you covered. The new piece of legislation cements six-days-a-week mail delivery service (except for federal holidays) as a matter of law, reinforcing the USPS’s goal that Americans around the country are able to receive their packages and goods in a timely manner. And when so many rely on the Postal Service for delivery of medication and other essential goods, it is imperative that we do all we can to protect service standards.

Not to be overlooked, the law also would improve the overall efficiency and service quality of the USPS, requiring the agency to implement an online database “dashboard” that would be able to display delivery times by zip code. This much needed transparency could lead to vast improvements, as it would make it easier to locate where more attention and resources need to be allocated. You can’t fix a problem without pinpointing the origin, and the Postal Service Reform Act takes massive strides towards an better and more efficient USPS.

But while the fight for the Postal Service Reform Act is over, the battle for the Post Office of the future rages on. So, what’s next? Pushing for the electrification of 75% of the new postal vehicle fleet, continuing to push for more postal banking options, and last, but certainly not least, continuing to amplify the call for the removal of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. Even just recently, the DeJoy led USPS announced that delivery standards for small packages would be lowered to allow for slower deliveries to still be considered “on time.” Louis DeJoy’s tenure as Postmaster General must end.

As always, stay tuned for more ways to get involved in the movement during the weeks ahead. It’s going to take all of us to ensure the USPS of the future is well positioned to be the innovative juggernaut that the people of our nation deserve.