WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rick Scott and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Jim Risch wrote a letter to Majority Leader Chuck Schumer urging him to delay consideration of the H.R. 3076, the Postal Service Reform Act of 2022, until it has been reviewed by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to determine the legislation’s long-term budgetary effects and negative fiscal impacts on the Medicare program. Instead, upon the Senate’s return to session next week, Senators Scott and Risch are calling on Leader Schumer to prioritize immediate consideration of legislation, like their NYET Act, to provide urgently needed support for Ukraine and hold Russia accountable for its violent and unlawful invasion.
Read the full letter HERE or below.
Dear Majority Leader Schumer:
We care deeply about fixing the problems with the United States Postal Service (USPS). The Postal Service provides essential services that millions of Americans rely on every day. We also believe the Postal Service must be accountable to taxpayers, not only in how effectively it delivers mail, but in how it spends any tax dollars it receives.
The U.S. Senate is now set to consider H.R. 3076, the Postal Service Reform Act of 2022, next week. While we support some provisions of this bill, like its focus on enhanced services for rural communities, it does not provide comprehensive reform and has not gone through the regular order and committee consideration that would both improve and refine a bill of this magnitude.
To date, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has not held one hearing or member meeting on this bill, nor has the bill even been considered at a markup. The bill increases costs in the Medicare program, which will lead to higher premiums and more national debt.
We simply want the U.S. Senate to have the opportunity to work on this, improve it, and deliver a bill that truly works. This bill does not fix the underlying issues with the Postal Service, nor does it make it profitable. This bill does not reduce the cost to the Federal government, but instead reduces the cost to the Postal Service and shifts that increased cost to Medicare beneficiaries.
This bill adds new costs to Medicare without an off-set to these increasing Medicare expenses. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), between Fiscal Years 2025 and 2031, this bill would increase costs to Medicare by more than $1.9 billion for Part B and $4.2 billion for Part D. This will hurt Medicare recipients though higher premiums. Instead of the USPS paying for its employee’s own health plans, this bill will have non-postal Medicare beneficiaries subsidize postal retirees.
Over 60 million seniors across our country rely on the Medicare program. It is unconscionable to add further expenses to them, and place the future care of postal workers on the line, when Medicare is already on the road to insolvency.
For these reasons, Senator Scott has asked CBO to provide an analysis and score of this bill that extends beyond the limited 10-year budget window covered in their initial review. The letter asked CBO for a long-term score of this bill so that Congress can clearly review the future impacts to Medicare recipients. This analysis has yet to be completed.
We would also be remiss to not address the need for the Senate to immediately act on Russia’s unjustified invasion of Ukraine. Freedom in Europe is under attack and we must acknowledge that Putin’s goal is to seize further control of wealth and power across the continent. The United States must respond with devastating sanctions and severe consequences that cripple the Russian economy, oligarchy and Putin’s thugs and cronies both in and outside of the Kremlin. When we return to Washington next week, this must be our first order of business. Placing any other legislation, especially a bill which has not been considered by a single Senate committee and does not address any urgent issues, ahead of addressing the invasion of Ukraine would be a dereliction of our duty to the American people and a betrayal of our responsibility to promote and protect democracy and freedom across the world.
Without doubt, we support getting something done to reform the Postal Service and ensure it is more accountable to taxpayers, but we must have the opportunity to improve this bill before voting on it.
Today, we are demanding that the Monday, February 28, 2022, vote to invoke cloture on the Postal Service Reform Act be rescheduled until a more comprehensive, long-term review of this bill has been conducted by the Congressional Budget Office so that it may provide Congress and the American public an estimate of the bill’s current and future impact on Medicare, the Postal Service, and any potential impact on the long-term solvency of these programs.
Until we can fully understand what the true long-term costs and impacts this bill would have on our Medicare program, we should not vote on it. Doing so would be unconscionable and a dereliction of our duty to act as informed representatives of the taxpayers and every family we so proudly serve.
We look forward to working with our colleagues in the Senate on a responsible postal reform bill that delivers on our commitments to uphold the interests of our nation’s taxpayers and protects the financial wellbeing of our postal workers and seniors. American families deserve nothing less.
United States Senator
United States Senator