On January 31, 2017, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee leaders introduced the Postal Service Reform Act of 2017, H.R. 756. The bill is a reintroduction of H. R. 5714, which was introduced by Chairman Jason Chaffetz in the prior Congress.
H.R. 756 has a bipartisan group of cosponsors, including Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD), and Representatives Mark Meadows (R-NC), Dennis Ross (R-FL), Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Stephen Lynch (D-MA).
H.R. 756 is a comprehensive bill that addresses, among other important matters, the enhancement of USPS solvency through employee benefit reforms and changes in the management and operation of the USPS.
Postal Service benefits reform under the bill would include the reform of the retiree healthcare and benefits system, which has been a source of financial difficulties for the USPS for a decade.
Operational reforms under the bill would include changes in the number of Senate-confirmed members of the USPS Board of Governors, the addition of certain non-postal services, and procedural changes regarding closures and consolidations. When considering a post office for closure H.R. 756 would require the Postal Service to consider additional factors, such as: the distance to the next nearest post office, characteristics of the location such as weather and terrain, and the availability of broadband internet service. Also, communities would be given the opportunity to state their preferences on closing or consolidating a post office, and appeal the closing or consolidation of post office stations and branches.