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Nonprofit Postal Rates Saved In House Bill

By The NonProfit Times - June 27, 2012

The section of a U.S. Postal Service reform bill in Congress that would have eliminated discounted nonprofit postal rates during a 12-year period has been eliminated from the legislation.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the leading sponsor of the postal reform bill, H.R. 2309, informed the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers that Section 403 of the bill will be deleted when it goes to the House floor for a vote later this summer, according to Tony Conway, executive director of the Alliance of Nonprofit Managers in Washington, D.C.

Ali Ahmad, a spokesman for Issa, confirmed the section had been removed. The Alliance had strongly opposed Section 403.

“We have averted a serious problem,” said Meta Brophy, director, publishing operations at Consumer Reports in Yonkers, N.Y., and board chair of the Alliance. “Congratulations to the Alliance members that took the time to educate their Representatives about the importance of this issue. And kudos to Chairman Issa and his colleagues, who recognized the importance of preserving the benefits offered by the nonprofit sector to a healthy civil society, especially now, when the government’s resources have become so overstretched.”

Elimination of Section 403 frees the Alliance and its members to support the House bill. “Now we can support H.R. 2309 publicly,” she said.

The greatest virtue of H.R. 2309, she explained, is the willingness of its sponsors to tackle the Postal Service’s basic structural problem: the organization’s out-of-control costs. “The USPS has too many underused post offices; too many mail processing hubs; and too many employees for the shrinking volume of mail it handles. All of this is burdening the USPS with billions of dollars a year in excess costs.”

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