Legislation has been introduced in the House that would, among other things, allow the Postal Service to start shipping beer, wine, and liquor.
Known as the Postal Innovation Act of 2015 (HR 3319), the legislation is being billed as one that will modernize the United States Postal Service (USPS) to address its growing financial problems.
The bill is being introduced by Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Jared Huffman (D-CA). In addition to allowing for shipping alcohol, the act would also do the following:
- Allows the Postal Service to implement pilot programs in five postal regions for nonpostal services, including financial services, public wireless broadband Internet access, experimental postal products market testing, warehousing, and Internet voting.
- Allows the Postal Service to enter into contracts to upgrade the postal fleet by increasing long-term savings through the reduction of collision, maintenance, fuel, and other costs.
- Requires postal vehicles to be outfitted with collision-averting technology.
- Instructs the Postal Service to reduce its vehicular consumption of petroleum products by no less than two percent annually through the end of fiscal year 2025.
- Requires postal vehicles to comply with standards established by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in accordance with the agency’s authority under the Clean Air Act.
- Allows the Postal Service to utilize savings from this act to reinvest in innovation, research, and development.
- Provides guidelines for the Comptroller General to conduct a study of potential opportunities and challenges related to the Postal Service providing public internet access and online voting.
“Our bill allows the U.S. Postal Service the freedom to expand their business model and add new services, helping them increase revenues and reach financial stability,” Representative Huffman said. “I am glad to partner with Rep. Blumenauer to help the USPS invest in a modern vehicle fleet and become a global leader in efficiency and innovation.”