Mailers organizations urge Senate to vote on USPS board nominees

A group of mailers associations has sent the following letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee:

Dear Chairman Johnson and Ranking Member Carper:

As of December 8, of a statutorily directed nine, only one Governor of the United States Postal Service’s Board of Governors remains in office. We are writing to urge you, through your roles on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, to press your colleagues in the Senate to move expeditiously toward a vote on all of President Obama’s nominees for the vacant Board of Governors positions as soon as possible.

billbrayThe Board of Governors was designed by Congress to reflect a diversity of views, experience, and political perspective. With nine Governors, split between the parties, as well as the Postmaster General and Deputy Postmaster General, the Board is constructed to ensure that the public’s interests, including the interests of users of the mail, are properly considered in Postal Service decision making. A fully-staffed, well-functioning Board provides the Postal Service with the resources necessary to ensure that its actions best serve the Postal Service and the public, providing reliable, affordable, and self-sustaining service while comporting with the policies established by Congress. One Governor alone, no matter how competent, may be unable to perform the responsibilities of the Board dictated by the statute.

A full complement of Governors, and the sound decision making they can supply, is especially important in these times of uncertainty for the Postal Service. Without a fully functioning Board, the Postal Service lacks the resources necessary to adapt to a shifting marketplace as the needs of its customers evolve.

The undersigned organizations represent mailers and mail service providers who rely on the Postal Service to provide consistent, reliable service at reasonable rates. Importantly, our members do not send mail simply for the sake of sending mail. They use mail because it has proven to be an effective means of driving business, fulfilling consumer orders, and soliciting and receiving contributions that fund charitable causes. If mailers come to believe they can no longer rely on the Postal Service, however, they will increasingly be forced to turn to alternative channels. This shift would harm all stakeholders in the Postal Service: mailers would be forced to use inferior channels for marketing their products and serving their customers; mail service providers would lose revenue as mailers leave the mail; the Postal Service would lose revenue and its finances would further degrade, placing the jobs of postal employees in jeopardy; and the public would be hurt as service would continue to degrade. Mailers have dealt with uncertainty surrounding the Postal Service for years now, as following the Great Recession the Postal Service has sought exigent price increases, changed service standards, and seemingly constantly been on the edge of financial collapse. The further uncertainty created by an incomplete Board of Governors is particularly unwelcome now: as evidenced by the recent actions of the Federal Reserve, the economy has clearly turned the corner, and the Postal Service must be placed in position to take advantage.

The Postal Service has been operating without a quorum of Governors for nearly a year, despite the fact that five nominations are currently pending. This situation is untenable. For the good of the Postal Service and the industry that relies on it, the undersigned organizations urge the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to take the lead in ensuring the Senate provides the Postal Service with the strong Board it needs.

Sincerely,

Ken Garner President & CEO EPICOMM
Jessica Dauer Lowrance, Executive Vice President Association for Postal Commerce
Murry Salls, President Major Mailers Association
Tonda F. Rush CNLC, LLC Counsel to National Newspaper Association
Donna Hanbery, Executive Director Saturation Mailers Coalition
Chris Oswald Vice President, Advocacy DMA
Maynard H. Benjamin, CAE President & CEO Envelope Manufacturers Association
Hamilton Davison, President & Executive Director American Catalog Mailers Association
Bob Galaher, Executive Director & CEO National Association of Presort Mailers

cc: Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee members