Senator Tom Carper’s “iPost” Proposal: Rebuilding Critical Economic Infrastructure Through Postal Policy

The iPost Act of 2015 is building momentum by gaining bi-partisan support in the U.S. Senate. Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-DE) has enlisted Republican co-sponsors Jerry Moran of Kansas and Roy Blunt of Missouri, in addition to fellow Democrat Claire McCaskill of Missouri, to support his Improving Postal Operations, Service and Transparency (iPost) Act of 2015.

In the digital age, it’s difficult to imagine that the USPS over its history has been as important to the United States as the Forum was to Rome. The “Post Office” (as it was called prior to 1971, when legislation changed it to the “Postal Service”) has strengthened our democracy and “bound our nation together” by serving as an engine of communications. While digital disruption has in many ways improved our lives and contributed to economic growth, the digitalization of communications has disrupted how both consumers and businesses use the mail, which is still the overwhelming source of USPS’ revenue. The reality is that even though the digitalization trend is undeniable, it doesn’t signal the end of the Postal Service. The USPS serves every single American as its customer through the largest delivery point network in the world and is authorized in the Constitution. As long as there is a supply chain of physical goods, we can find new ways to monetize and benefit from the USPS’ infrastructure, which is rapidly evolving to better support eCommerce, channeling the flow of materials to and from our homes and businesses.

Senator Tom Carper, who for several years has championed the mission to help the USPS achieve “long-term solvency,” is a bold leader with the courage to reach across party lines and collaborate on constructing a solution to our nation’s postal challenges. Our industry admires and appreciates his perseverance in pursuing legislation that aims to reset the USPS on a profitable growth course. Carper spoke at PostalVision 2020/3.0 in 2013, and his dedication to this cause was as clear then as it is today.  As Ranking Member of the Senate Subcommittee that oversees the Postal Service, he continues to demonstrate his determination to get the job done.  With the iPost Act of 2015, Senator Carper is proposing a vision for the USPS designed to help it continue to serve residences and businesses in all corners of America and beyond where there’s demand for an economical and reliable delivery service.

One component of the iPost bill seeks to have the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) “submit to Congress a report on the universal service obligation of the Postal Service”, which would take into account “the changing nature of communications, including the dramatic changes in e-Commerce and the global marketplace.”[1] The goal of this is to help the USPS stay relevant in the digital age by paving the way for new eCommerce markets. Our nation needs policy that supports the USPS’ efforts to explore new opportunities to operate in the market, helping to sustain an organization that employs hundreds of thousands of Americans and facilitates trillions of dollars in the global economy[2].

We thank Senator Tom Carper for his consistent and reasonable efforts to collaborate with industry leaders and drive legislation that supports postal initiatives.

  • The Team at PostalVision 2020

Recap of Senator Carper’s visit with PostalVision 2020 in 2013

[1] iPost Act of 2015 bill, Section 4

[2] 2015 Mailing Industry Job Study, EMA Foundation for Paper-Based Communications Institute for Postal Studies

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