Susan Collins: U.S. Senator, MAINE
She championed postal reform legislation through the Senate, the bill’s biggest roadblock.
No one individual (or even one trade organization) can take credit for the passage of postal reform legislation earlier this year. We considered David Straus, postal counsel for American Business Media and Rita Cohen, senior vice president of legislative and regulatory policy at Magazine Publishers of America, both of whom did yeomen work to get legislation passed. But Senator Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, stands out from the crowd for her tireless advancement of the reform bill in the Senate, where it had a much rougher road than in the House.
The Senate passed Bill S.662 in February and the House and Senate will next try to hammer out differences between the two bills. While the ultimate version of postal reform could end up being far less promising than many in the publishing industry are hoping (some observers are wondering if the White House will attempt to get the conference committee to make sure the bill is budget-neutral), it could signify the most significant postal reforms in 30 years. Modernizing the rate-setting process to provide more stability and predictability for postal customers could ensure the future financial viability of the Postal Service. The legislation could also address billions of dollars in unfunded liabilities that the Postal Service currently faces, while also saving postal customers billions of dollars over the next several years.
In a joint statement with Senator Thomas Carper, Collins said, "As evidenced by the recent postal rate increase that will cost postal users billions of dollars over the next few years, it is crucial for the future of the U.S. Postal Service, postal customers, and the economy, that postal reform, be enacted. Under its current business model, the Postal Service’s financial future is not viable."
VITAL STATS: Postal reform could stabilize rate increases and save publishers billions of dollars.