House Concurrent Resolution No. 18




         Whereas, the U.S. Postal Service was established as a public service by our founding fathers in 1775 to bind our nation together by providing a means for commerce and communication; and


            Whereas, the framers of the Constitution charged the federal government with providing postal services to all communities, rich and poor, urban and rural, with uniform postage rates; and


            Whereas, for nearly two hundred and thirty years the availability of dependable, affordable mail service has proved vitally important to many American businesses and citizens; and


            Whereas, the Postal Service remains an important part of our nation's economic infrastructure, through which nearly one trillion dollars of economic activity is conducted each year, and through which nine million people are employed; and


            Whereas, Americans currently enjoy the most extensive postal service at the lowest postage rates of any major industrialized nation in the world; and


            Whereas, the Postal Service operates without taxpayer subsidies, and postage rate increases have remained at or below the inflation rate; and


            Whereas, in pursuit of a solution to the Postal Service's recent challenges, which were brought in part by declining mail volume amid a recession and terrorist attacks, the president has charged a commission to recommend far-reaching changes to postal operations and services; and


            Whereas, despite the Postal Service's recent economic difficulties, it continues to provide special below-cost postage discounts to large business and advertising mailers, driving the Postal Service billions of dollars into debt, and ultimately causing small businesses and ordinary citizens to subsidize those discounts through higher postage rates; and


            Whereas, the commission is considering a wide range of "solutions" such as cutting services in many communities by closing post offices or reducing their hours of operation and the number of days mail is delivered each week; introducing a complicated postage rate structure that would charge postal patrons based on where they send their letters and packages, or even turning over postal operations to private, for-profit enterprises; and


            Whereas, millions of older, economically disadvantaged and disabled Americans do not have easy access to the Internet or to electronic banking and bill paying, and therefore are heavily dependent on the Postal Service for communicating and conducting business transactions; and


            Whereas, the continuation of six-day mail delivery is important for many businesses and community organizations, as well as many citizens who depend on Saturday delivery for receiving checks, prescription drugs, gifts, and greeting cards; and


            Whereas, replacing the Postal Service's public service obligation with a profit seeking mandate would undermine the Postal Service's historic "universal service" obligation, weaken its national infrastructure, and divide our nation politically and economically:


            Now, therefore, be it resolved that the members of the House of Representatives of the Ninety-second General Assembly, Second Regular Session, the Senate concurring therein, hereby urge Congress to reject any recommendations from the President's Commission to base postal services on profit seeking motives or to cut services to any American community; and


            Be it further resolved that the Chief Clerk of the Missouri House of Representatives be instructed to prepare a properly inscribed copies of this resolution for the President of the United States and Missouri's Congressional delegation.