Mailing Experts Hit Capitol Hill as Lawmakers Negotiate Postal Reform

Ben Margot/AP file photo

A House oversight subcommittee was set to hear from a wide variety of U.S. Postal Service business partners at a hearing Wednesday, as lawmakers continued to negotiate an overhaul to the agency.

Representatives from saturation mail companies, trade publications, daily newspapers and postal trade groups were slated to share their perspectives on what is and what is not working well at USPS. They are scheduled to speak before lawmakers on the House Oversight and Government Reform’s Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and the Census.

“It is an opportunity for companies that rely on the Postal Service to discuss how well the USPS is meeting their needs, and see how we can better identify reforms that could make the USPS a better, more efficient, mail provider,” Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, the subcommittee’s chairman, said in a statement. “If the customers are happy, whether they use the Postal Service for their business or personally, they will keep coming back.”

Joy Franckowiak, director of postal affairs and distribution for Valpak, a saturation mail company, planned to offer a scathing review of the Postal Regulatory Commission for its failure to set USPS prices appropriately.

“The commission has taken a hands off approach to postal pricing on the theory that Congress gave the Postal Service broad ‘pricing flexibility,’ and wanted the commission to use only ‘light handed regulation,’” Franckowiak will tell the panel, according to prepared testimony.

 “We cannot believe this is what Congress wanted,” she said. “It appears clear that the Postal Service needs greater flexibility to cut costs, but [also] greater regulation by the commission over the Postal Service’s pricing strategies.”

Franckowiak will point to standard flat mail and periodicals as examples of products USPS could charge more to deliver.

Steve Brandt, publisher and president of The Greenville News in South Carolina, will tell the subcommittee further price increases will only serve to drive business away. Giving better rates to saturation mailers than newspapers has caused The Greenville News -- and many of its competitors -- to consider alternative delivery options, according to Brandt.

All witnesses that have made testimony available will praise the Postal Service for its transition to right-sizing its workforce and physical infrastructure and call on Congress to grant Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe greater flexibility in the future through comprehensive legislative reform.

Lawmakers have said they are close to reaching a bipartisan, bicameral solution after the House and Senate failed to reconcile their bills in the last congressional session.

An HOGR Committee spokesman declined to comment on the status of negotiations. 

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.