From Oct. 8, 2014: At a meeting of the Association for Postal Commerce recently, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said that the Board of Governors would not seek an increase in mail and shipping product services this January. As a result, current rates will stay in effect during the extended holiday season and through the early part of 2015.
From March 12, 2014: President Obama renewed his longstanding call to overhaul the U.S. Postal Service in his fiscal 2015 budget, saying the agency must be reformed to ensure its future viability. Obama recommended restructuring the Postal Service’s requirement to prefund the health care of retirees. His plan would defer the fixed payments due in 2014, and part of the payments due in the two years after that. Those payments would then be restructured into a 40-year amortization schedule starting in 2017. The proposal would provide more than $9 billion in relief to U.S. Postal Service through 2016.
From Feb. 5, 2014: The U.S. Senate will continue attempts to pass an important postal reform bill out of committee this week, having failed to do so on Jan. 29. A number of contentious issues delayed completion of the bill mark-up this week, including debate on proposals to raise postal rates significantly to help with the Postal Service’s financial position. The Committee leaders are proposing to make a temporary surcharge – representing a three-times-inflation rate increase – on postal rates permanent and change the usual inflation-based price cap to inflation plus 1 percent.
From Oct. 22, 2014: Sen. Tom Carper’s, D-Delaware staff on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee channeled David Letterman, giving senators a top-10 list of reasons why they should prioritize the passage of the Postal Reform Act penned by Carper and colleague Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma once they return from their bloody midterm election battles. Unlike Letterman lists, however, this one is devoid of humor. Postal reform is no laughing matter, as direct mailers will be reminded when they read number 10. Following is an edited version of the list.
From Nov. 19, 2014: United States Postmaster General, Patrick Donahoe, who has led the financially troubled U.S. Postal Service for four years, will retire in February, paving the way for the service’s first female postmaster general. Megan Brennan, a 28-year veteran who is the agency’s chief operating officer, will succeed Donahoe to become the 74th postmaster general and chief executive, the Postal Service Board of Governors said.
From May 28, 2014: The Oversight Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill that would end doorstep delivery for about 15 million households in the United States in the next decade. The move, which would echo the strategy already being implemented across the border in Canada, could save the U.S. Postal Service about $2 billion in operating costs each year according to the Republicans who control the House.
From March 12, 2014: U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe won a key supporter in his campaign to end Saturday letter delivery after President Obama endorsed the idea in his 2015 budget. But did the president go a bit too far?
From July 2, 2014: A key U.S. House of Representatives committee has adopted another appropriations bill that includes requirements for the U.S. Postal Service to deliver mail on Saturdays. The Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill provides annual funding for the US Treasury Department and several federal agencies in 2015. It was adopted along with an amendment that requires the Postal Service to deliver the mail six days per week.
From June 18, 2014: Jeffrey Dobkin writes, “Like old friends, these lines are of great value to have at your side. This reoccurring arsenal of words is a center point in almost all of the campaigns I write for clients.”
From Feb. 2, 2014: U.S. business mailers have warned that the postal reform bill marked up in the U.S. Senate could mean “dire consequences” for U.S. mail volumes. The Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee met to shape up a proposal to rescue the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service, but one of the proposals from committee leaders is to significantly increase postal rates in the long-term.