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The Statehouse News Bureau provides educational, comprehensive coverage of legislation, elections, issues and other activities surrounding the Statehouse to Ohio's public radio and television stations.

Portman says US Postal Service is in dire need of reforms

[Jo Ingles / Statehouse News Bureau]
Mail truck on a residential street

Ohio’s junior U.S. senator is issuing a serious warning about the U.S. Postal Service. Sen. Rob Portman says Congress needs to step up now to help ensure the privately funded mail service can continue to operate in the future.

“The postal service is in deep trouble. It needs reform,” Portman said.

He's one of 14 Republican senators supporting a sweeping bill that would reform the postal service, saving it nearly $50 billion over the next decade.

The Senate plan is similar to a bipartisan one that passed in the House last week.

A key part of the reform packages would involve shifting retirees to Medicare. Currently, about a quarter of retired postal workers do not enroll in Medicare when they become eligible for it. Portman says those savings would be crucial to saving the postal service, and he says it's important for lawmakers to act right away.

“But if we don’t, it could be in a couple of years, the postal office becomes insolvent,” Portman said.

The legislation would also result in more transparency by requiring USPS to create an online dashboard that tracks delivery times. And the organization would have to provide service at least six days per week.

Portman says he thinks the House and Senate can come together soon to pass a plan to save the postal service. But critics of the proposed reforms have said there are technical problems in the senate version of the bill that need to be fixed before it can pass.

Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.