Michael Makin, President and CEO of Printing Industries of America, issued the following statement at the conclusion of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s hearing titled “A Path Forward on Postal Reform.”
“Printing Industries of America, the nation’s largest graphic arts trade association, has long recognized the vital supply chain partnership of our member companies and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). The USPS serves as the backbone of the private sector mailing economy, and the fact that its cash loss is at a shocking rate of nearly $25 million per day is a huge concern. It is unsustainable, and Congressional action to stabilize the USPS is urgent. Debate and votes on legislative proposals on postal reform currently under consideration by Congress—and particularly the legislative discussion draft released by Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA)—are critical to reaching this goal.
“Millions of American jobs—including some 8 million private sector workers—are at stake if the USPS continues to hemorrhage red ink. Policy changes are needed now. These changes include making the USPS more efficient and operationally modern by: re-amortizing retiree health benefits pre-funding obligations; refunding to USPS overpayments it has made to the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS); providing the USPS with the authority to streamline its network, address workforce capacity and labor benefits issues; and encourage innovations in services and products that do not compete with the private mailing sector.
“Now is also the time for the USPS and the private mailing sector to look realistically at the future. Mail volume has dropped precipitously, and the ever-changing communications marketplace means that customers have more delivery options than ever before. Given the USPS’s current financial condition and the ongoing decline in mail volume, Printing Industries of America supports proposals to move to a 5-day mail/6-day package delivery schedule as part of a comprehensive postal reform effort.
“Regardless of Congressional outcome on this cost-cutting issue, Printing Industries of America will leverage its technical and business resources to assist its members and their customers through a delivery schedule transition—all while alerting them to new printing, packaging, and mailing technologies that add value to paper-based communications.
“However, all of the value-add in the world will not encourage customers to mail if Congress allows postal rates to escalate beyond the Consumer Price Index (CPI) cap that became law as part of the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. Congress, in its wisdom, rightly set this rate system to ensure affordable, predictable rate increases that provide business certainty to our member companies and their customers. It is vital that Congress maintain and build upon its 2006 efforts in regard to rate modernization.
“Printing Industries of America thanks Chairman Issa, Ranking Member Cummings, and the entire Committee for their continued work on the issue of postal reform. We stand at the ready to advocate for swift action that will allow USPS and our member companies to maximize their partnership and contributions to the nation’s economy and the entire Oversight and Government Reform Committee.”