Congressional roundup — Postal Service reprieve

U.S. Reps. Elise Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, Antonio Delgado, D-Rhinebeck, and John Katko, R-Camillus, are among 25 New York House members backing a bipartisan push to repeal a 2006 law that requires the United State Postal Service to pre-fund seventy-five years of future retirement benefits.

Postal worker unions, which have long sought the repeal, have said repealing the requirement would put the Postal Service in the black.

No other private enterprise is subjected to such a stringent pre-funding requirement, said Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Oregon, who introduced the legislation on Feb. 2 with Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning.

The United States Postal Service is not a government agency.

“Americans depend on a reliable Postal Service. This is especially true for rural areas as well as veterans and seniors in my district,” DeFazio said, in a press release.

“The pre-funding mandate is unfair, uneconomic, and inhibits the USPS from focusing on the service the American people rely on,” Reed said, in a press release.

The legislation — HR 695 — had 249 co-sponsors, as of March 6–211 Democrats and 38 Republicans, more than enough votes needed to pass the legislation.

Similar legislation passed the House in February 2020 by a vote of 309–106, with 87 Republicans voting in favor, DeFazio said.

DeFazio said he is hopeful the legislation will become law under the new Biden administration.

Click here to read the most recent previous Congressional Roundup post.

Maury Thompson is a freelance writer who covers the 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd and 24th congressional districts of New York.

Freelance history writer and documentary film producer from Ticonderoga, NY