Tom Carper

Kurt Ruppel is Director Postal Policy and Marketing Communications at IWCO Direct. He is a member of the Mailers’ Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) and serves on the Board of Directors at the Envelope Manufacturers Association (EMA), where he is also Vice Chair of the EMA’s Postal Affairs Committee. He can be reached at

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

"The Postal Reform Act of 2018: Improving Postal Operations, Service, and Transparency" was introduced in the U.S. Senate last week as a bipartisan bill co-sponsored by senators Tom Carper (D-Del.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.). If passed, the legislation would make sweeping changes to current rules and regulations that have led, in large part, to the dire long-term financial situation of the U.S. Postal Service.

The bone chill of Sunday, April 10 in the Northeast may have reminded us how winter just wants to hold on, long after its calendar passing. However on that same day, a 4.3 percent exigency on U.S. postal rates was lifted — it felt warm for a moment, but deceptively so.

USPS “continues to twist in the wind” because Congress let the board of governors dwindle down to one appointed member without acting on any nominees, says Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) In the meantime, Carper’s introduced a bill to make a temporary 4.3 percent postal rate increase permanent.

Quite the quandary is shaping up for the U.S. Postal Service, which may affect direct (and all) mail service. Friday afternoon's 15-minute meeting may have been the last gathering of the USPS Board of Governors for the foreseeable future. The Senate needs to confirm nominees by today or board quorums will be impossible, USPS Media Relations Manager Dave Partenheimer tells Target Marketing.

The long road to getting a bill passed in Washington is rarely smooth. The efforts of the last few years to pass a postal reform bill, whose primary purpose is to efficiently downsize the USPS in light of its diminished use in today's society, has been no exception. During the 112th Congress, the Senate passed a postal reform bill, but the House was unable to counter with one of its own. So far, a year-and-a-quarter into the 113th Congress, a similar pattern has ensued. Here's a recap

With the sole exception of Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) swinging for the United States Postal Service ratepayer (you and me), January 2014 was a dismal month for those who advocate direct mail in the marketing mix ... and in February, I'm definitely looking for some love. Will we find it?

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