Carper Praises President’s Postal Reform Principles

Bush Outline Mirrors Much of Carper Legislation

WASHINGTON – Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) today praised President Bush for releasing a set of postal reform principles that closely track legislation Carper introduced earlier this year to modernize the U.S. Postal Service. After meeting yesterday with Treasury Secretary Snow, Postmaster General Potter and members of the President’s Commission on the U.S. Postal Service, Bush issued a set of principles he would like to see included in whatever postal reform legislation Congress seeks to pass in 2004. Among the principles highlighted was a commitment to universal service, customer accountability and price stabilization. "I am pleased that President Bush is committed to making the reforms necessary to update the Postal Service’s business model for the 21st Century," said Carper. "The president’s principles mirror many of the goals of the comprehensive postal reform bill I introduced earlier this year." For instance, Carper said he agreed with the president’s desire to give the Postal Service more flexibility to set rates, reduce costs and adjust key aspects of its business to market forces. Carper also praised the president for calling on the Postal Service to operate with more transparency and be more accountable to its customers. Earlier this year, Carper introduced a comprehensive reform bill, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act [S. 1285], which would force the Postal Service to do what it does best – deliver and process mail for all Americans. With the release of the president’s set of postal reform goals, the Carper bill is now poised to serve as the model for any postal reform legislation Congress considers next year. Carper praised the president’s principles for ignoring recommendations made this summer by the president’s postal commission that could have led to lower pay for postal workers and more labor disputes. "Overall, the President’s principles focus on the right issues, ignoring the divisive aspects of the commission’s report that have very little to do with true postal reform," said Carper. "His goals for postal reform, along with some additional proposals included in my bill, would go a long way toward ensuring that the Postal Service can survive and be self-sufficient in the difficult years ahead." Carper, a member of the Governmental Affairs Committee, has been a leader on postal reform since he arrived in the Senate. Last year, he and Senate Governmental Affairs Chairwoman Susan Collins (R-Maine) helped pass legislation that ensured postal rates would remain flat until 2006 by saving the Postal Service millions of dollars through correcting a funding problem caused by the agency’s pension contributions. Collins and Carper will continue to work together to enact a strong postal reform bill next year.