Representatives Huffman and Blumenauer Introduce Legislation to Modernize the U.S. Postal Service
Washington, DC – Today, Jared Huffman (CA-2) and Representatives Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) introduced legislation to create a framework that will modernize the United States Postal Service (USPS) to address its growing financial problems and ensure it remains a cornerstone of the American community. The Postal Innovation Act of 2015 would bring USPS vehicles in line with environmental and safety standards to reduce the postal fleet’s carbon emissions while simultaneously cutting costs, and making our streets safer. It would also bring the USPS’s services in line with the evolving demands of modern day consumers. Last week, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced similar legislation in the Senate.
“Our bill allows the U.S. Postal Service the freedom to expand their business model and add new services, helping them increase revenues and reach financial stability,” Representative Huffman said. “I am glad to partner with Rep. Blumenauer to help the USPS invest in a modern vehicle fleet and become a global leader in efficiency and innovation.”
“By upgrading the postal fleet to meet fuel-efficiency standards and implement industry-standard collision-avoidance and active safety technology, the Postal Innovation Act will save USPS money on fuel and vehicle damages, will cut carbon emissions nationwide, and will make streets safer in every community in America,” said Representative Blumenauer. “Additionally, this legislation will give the Postal Service flexibility to offer services above and beyond mail delivery – simple banking services and Internet connectivity, to name a few. These reforms are low-cost, high-impact, and have the potential to benefit society and increase the viability of our postal infrastructure.”
The Postal Innovation Act of 2015:
- Allows the Postal Service to implement pilot programs in five postal regions for nonpostal services, including financial services, public wireless broadband Internet access, experimental postal products market testing, warehousing, and Internet voting.
- Allows the Postal Service to ship beer, wine, and spirits.
- Allows the Postal Service to enter into contracts to upgrade the postal fleet by increasing long-term savings through the reduction of collision, maintenance, fuel, and other costs.
- Requires postal vehicles to be outfitted with collision-averting technology.
- Instructs the Postal Service to reduce its vehicular consumption of petroleum products by no less than two percent annually through the end of fiscal year 2025.
- Requires postal vehicles to comply with standards established by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in accordance with the agency’s authority under the Clean Air Act.
- Allows the Postal Service to utilize savings from this act to reinvest in innovation, research, and development.
- Provides guidelines for the Comptroller General to conduct a study of potential opportunities and challenges related to the Postal Service providing public internet access and online voting.