Legislation Would Allow Postal Service to Ship Alcoholic Beverages

Recently introduced legislation would allow the Postal Service to ship alcoholic beverages to consumers.

One lawmaker is taking another shot at allowing the Postal Service to ship beer, wine and liquor.

Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA) recently reintroduced legislation that would allow the Postal Service to ship alcoholic beverages directly from licensed producers and retailers to consumers over the age of 21, in accordance with state shipping regulations.

Known as the United States Postal Service Shipping Equity Act (H.R. 4024), the bill currently has 22 co-sponsors and has been endorsed by groups such as the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), the National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU), and the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC).

Speier calls current law barring shipping alcohol an “antiquated ban” and says the Postal Service is at a disadvantage against companies like UPS and FedEx which can ship alcohol.

“It makes no sense to impose these restrictions, particularly since private shippers, such as UPS and FedEx, are exempt from this out-of-date rule. Congress needs to lift this ban for the benefit of wine manufacturers, consumers, and our struggling postal service,” said Speier.

Speier previously introduced the bill in 2015 but it ultimately failed to advance.

As the Postal Service continues to hemorrhage money at a staggering pace, some lawmakers are looking to changes such as Speier’s to help open new sources of revenue to help combat the losses. Citing the Congressional Budget Office, she said that the bill would give the Postal Service an additional $50 million in revenue per year.

Legislation was introduced in the House earlier this year to make a number of reforms to improve the Postal Service’s financial situation such as pension funding reforms, allowing for postal rate increases and even allowing the Postal Service to provide non-postal services in some cases. It has thus far not gone before the full House for consideration. See Legislation Introduced to Reform Postal Employees’ Benefits


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Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.