4 Reasons Postal Reform Legislation is a Must-Have Right Now
In our role as advocate for catalog, online, direct and other retailers, one of our biggest challenges of the past few years has been in making all retailers understand why the U.S. Postal Service has been so badly in need of being reformed by Congress.
Last year’s (and actually, on through the present) controversies involving slowed-down mail delivery and the new Postmaster General certainly put the USPS’s woes on many radar screens, but getting a new law passed to put the USPS on better long-term footing remains most important of all.
Bills have been floating through Congress for nearly the past decade. Some have made it to the floor of the House, but most have languished. In the current Congress, however, there are virtually identical bills in both the House and Senate and more than a glimmer of hope that something can get passed into law. Here are four reasons this is so vital to your retail business at this very minute:
- If we don't get postal reform legislation to the House and Senate floor in 2021, chances will be severely diminished as we’ll be heading into the midterm election cycle with the distractions and partisan fighting that entails.
- Congress cares only about one thing: getting re-elected. This means not disappointing constituents. Only you can send a loud and clear message to Congress: Move postal reform now or we all suffer the consequences. That means you will likely be forced to reduce your mail volume, which will only further negatively impact the future of our nation’s postal system. And with a lighter mail channel in your marketing mix, your sales will be impacted, which could lead you to have to reduce employment at your company — the last of which always gets any member of Congress’s attention.
- Ask your local congressmen and senators to require the USPS’s regulator, the Postal Regulatory Commission, to re-review its 10-Year Review, which was closed in March 2020, well before the pandemic impact was known. Although that review took over 13 years to complete, the end-product was still outdated because it came out right on the eve of the COVID-19 shutdown. Of course, so much has changed since then. What’s more, the USPS’s financial position is drastically different than it was when the PRC gave the authority to raise rates earlier this summer.
- If legislation doesn't move forward, mailers can expect huge rate increases for the next decade. If it does, much of the financial pressure driving the need for large increases goes away. Congress imposed ridiculous pre-funding obligations on the USPS, so only Congress can cure them.
Hamilton Davison has been the president and executive director of the American Catalog Mailers Association (ACMA) since its founding in April 2007.
Hamilton Davison has been the President & Executive Director of the American Catalog Mailers Association (ACMA) since its founding in April 2007. Prior to this, he consulted for an educational services start-up, created a specialty card and gift retail chain and grew it to more than 150 stores, was CEO of the oldest and third-largest greeting card publisher and manufacturer, and started an oil and gas exploration business. Mr. Davison’s involvement in postal affairs started in 1992 with his service on the Greeting Card Association’s postal affairs committee. He became chair and directed the litigation and witness team charged with protecting the GCA subclass against virtually every other mailer, helping bring his association from its nadir (losing a rate case appeal at the Supreme Court) to an established force in postal policy that was routinely consulted on all important postal policy issues. He championed and sold the Forever Stamp to many including proposing it to the Chairman of the Board of Governors.