Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the need for bipartisan postal reform. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
Last week, the House passed—with overwhelming bipartisan support, I believe a majority from each party — the most important update to the U.S. Postal Service in decades.
This postal bill is the definition of legislation that should sail through the Congress: both sides support it. It had diligent work done by both Democrats and Republicans, with major input from both parties. Everyone knows we need it, and the American people strongly support action to put our postal service on sustainable footing. Our incredible postal workers give us their very best every single day they’re on the job; they deserve no less in return.
So many people depend on the mail. You could be a veteran, because the V.A. sends your prescriptions through the mail. About a fifth of Social Security recipients, as I understand it, don't have the internet and depend on the mail. Small businesses depend on the mail. Rural areas depend on the mail. Just about everybody does.
And people don't want snail mail. It's been no fault of the workers at the post office that postal delivery is slow—they don't have the resources they need! And in part they don’t have the resources they need is because they have a crazy, antediluvian system of how they calculate pensions and health care. We've got to change all this, and we've been waiting a long, long time.
Later today, I am going to move to have the Senate approve a few technical fixes to the bill so we can move closer final passage. The House made these fixes on their end through unanimous consent last week. Not a Democrat nor Republican in that whole body blocked it, anyone could have. And we want to do the same here in the Senate.
I hope that my Republican colleagues will give consent to allow these necessary fixes to go through, just as it happened in the House. As I said, members from both sides worked very, very hard to put this bill together, it commands strong bipartisan support, and we should move forward with it as soon as we can. Bipartisan postal reform already has enough support to become law. I hope it happens quickly.
So let me just say this once again so people understand what's going on here: all we are asking for is to fix a small clerical error made by the House of Representatives when they sent their bill to the Senate. It has nothing to do with the substance of the bill, and, as I mentioned, this fix—this small immaterial change that's technical—received unanimous consent, every Democrat and every Republican, in the House. So let's have the same outcome in the Senate tonight. Let's move forward on this proposal.
At the end of the day, it’s about making sure the Post Office can fulfill its obligations to its workers and to the American people.
We all know how many of us, millions of us, depend on the mail. We all know how we've been disappointed that mail service that is slowed down. And we all know that we should get together, Democrats and Republicans, to fix it.
This bipartisan reform bill will make sure Americans can continue relying on the post office the same way they’ve relied on it all their lives. I hope that here in the Senate we will keep working on this bill with the same bipartisan spirit we’ve seen for the past week.