A postal reform bill that passed Congress this week could offer another opportunity to install a postal banking system in the United States, according to a review by the Prospect.
While the $107 billion in savings from ending the Postal Service’s prefunding of retirement benefits and moving postal retirees onto Medicare has received most of the headlines, Section 103 of the bill, subsection 3704, restates USPS authority to partner to “provide property and nonpostal services” to federal government agencies, as long as whatever results raises revenue for the Postal Service.
In other words with all their convenient locations, the USPS offer prepaid cards for federal benefits and federal credit programs and become a hub of government services!
But wait there’s more!
Another exception to that 2006 ban comes in subsection 3703 of Section 103, which allows the Postal Service to partner with state or local governments to again provide property or non-postal services. Just like the other provision, this would have to be a revenue-positive partnership for the USPS, but that would be the entire point, to open new revenue streams in an age of declining letter mail.
The good news keeps coming!
Programs of this type could include selling hunting and fishing licenses, or bus and subway passes. If a community has municipal broadband, that could be delivered through the Postal Service. If a city has an electric vehicle charging program, they could site it on postal property. Advocates argue that using the post office as a hub for various government-based services could advance a next-generation conception of how the agency can fulfill its mission of binding the nation together.
But, as always, there’s a catch: we still have to get rid of DeJoy before he gets rid of the USPS.
Of course, DeJoy isn’t postmaster general for life; most Democrats wonder why he is still in charge of the agency. DeJoy’s recent defiance of President Biden over the purchase of 150,000 gasoline-powered postal trucks rather than greening the fleet has further enraged Democrats.
The Postal Service Board of Governors, not Biden, actually has the power to keep or let go DeJoy. Biden appoints members to that board. The board currently has two vacancies, and Biden nominated replacements last November. If filled, Democrats would have a 5-4 majority on the board. But at least one Democrat on the board appears to support DeJoy, and the board’s newly elected chairman is also a DeJoy ally. This makes it unlikely that DeJoy will be replaced.
I dunno what we can do to help get rid of DeJoy, but it starts with the confirmation of the two nominees, and probably applying some pressure to the rest of the board. But this is a YUGE opportunity, we need to be as enthusiastic about it as we can.
Spread the good new, Scissorhead. This is a biggie.