NNA: New postal reform proposed

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The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform kicked off a new round of debate this summer on U.S. Postal Service legislative reform.

A proposal by com­mittee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-CA, called the 2013 Postal Reform Act, would be similar to his pitch during the last Congress but with some key differences, according to the National Newspaper Association.

Some of the provisions:

• Permit Periodicals publishers access to rural mailboxes for delivery of newspapers on non-delivery days. This provision would be the first statutory relaxation of the Private Express Statutes in more than a decade.

• Allow postage rates for Periodicals to be increased by 2 percent annually over inflation if the revenue does not cover at least 90 percent of postal costs. 

• Slightly strengthen the ability of the Postal Service competitors to challenge market-dominant Negotiated Service Agreements similar to that proposed last year for Valassis Direct Mail, but makes it easier for other types of NSAs to pass muster.

• Allow the immediate end of six-day delivery of letters and newspapers, but allow delivery of packages. It would allow only two consecutive days of non-delivery in a week. Issa addresses complaints that on federal holidays, citizens would not receive mail for three days.

Issa has said he intends to try to pass the bill this summer.

Meanwhile, the Democrats’ House oversight leader, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., has introduced his own Postal Service bill, the 2013 Innovate to Deliver Act.

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., chairman of the Senate Home­­­land Security and Govern­mental Affairs Committee, will likely issue a third proposal in the coming weeks, according to Government Executive magazine.

Carper’s Postal bill drafted in the last Congress cleared the Senate, but the House didn’t consider it.

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