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S. 2469 (is) To suspend for 3 years the duty on 3-Amino-3-methyl-1-pentyne. [Introduced in Senate] ...


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108th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                S. 2468

            To reform the postal laws of the United States.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                              May 20, 2004

 Ms. Collins (for herself, Mr. Carper, Mr. Stevens, Mr. Voinovich, Mr. 
   Sununu, Mr. Lieberman, Mr. Akaka, and Mr. Durbin) introduced the 
 following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on 
                          Governmental Affairs

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
            To reform the postal laws of the United States.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Postal 
Accountability and Enhancement Act''.
    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
                 TITLE I--DEFINITIONS; POSTAL SERVICES

Sec. 101. Definitions.
Sec. 102. Postal services.
                    TITLE II--MODERN RATE REGULATION

Sec. 201. Provisions relating to market-dominant products.
Sec. 202. Provisions relating to competitive products.
Sec. 203. Provisions relating to experimental and new products.
Sec. 204. Reporting requirements and related provisions.
Sec. 205. Complaints; appellate review and enforcement.
Sec. 206. Clerical amendment.
                  TITLE III--MODERN SERVICE STANDARDS

Sec. 301. Establishment of modern service standards.
Sec. 302. Postal service plan.
           TITLE IV--PROVISIONS RELATING TO FAIR COMPETITION

Sec. 401. Postal Service Competitive Products Fund.
Sec. 402. Assumed Federal income tax on competitive products income.
Sec. 403. Unfair competition prohibited.
Sec. 404. Suits by and against the Postal Service.
                      TITLE V--GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 501. Qualification and term requirements for Governors.
Sec. 502. Obligations.
Sec. 503. Private carriage of letters.
Sec. 504. Rulemaking authority.
Sec. 505. Noninterference with collective bargaining agreements.
                TITLE VI--ENHANCED REGULATORY COMMISSION

Sec. 601. Reorganization and modification of certain provisions 
                            relating to the Postal Regulatory 
                            Commission.
Sec. 602. Authority for Postal Regulatory Commission to issue 
                            subpoenas.
Sec. 603. Appropriations for the Postal Regulatory Commission.
Sec. 604. Redesignation of the Postal Rate Commission.
Sec. 605. Financial transparency.
                         TITLE VII--EVALUATIONS

Sec. 701. Assessments of ratemaking, classification, and other 
                            provisions.
Sec. 702. Report on universal postal service and the postal monopoly.
Sec. 703. Study on equal application of laws to competitive products.
   TITLE VIII--POSTAL SERVICE RETIREMENT AND HEALTH BENEFITS FUNDING

Sec. 801. Short title.
Sec. 802. Civil Service Retirement System.
Sec. 803. Health insurance.
Sec. 804. Repeal of disposition of savings provision.
Sec. 805. Effective dates.
                TITLE IX--COMPENSATION FOR WORK INJURIES

Sec. 901. Temporary disability; continuation of pay.
Sec. 902. Disability retirement for postal employees.

                 TITLE I--DEFINITIONS; POSTAL SERVICES

SEC. 101. DEFINITIONS.

    Section 102 of title 39, United States Code, is amended by striking 
``and'' at the end of paragraph (3), by striking the period at the end 
of paragraph (4) and inserting a semicolon, and by adding at the end 
the following:
            ``(5) `postal service' refers to the physical delivery of 
        letters, printed matter, or packages weighing up to 70 pounds, 
        including physical acceptance, collection, sorting, 
        transportation, or other services ancillary thereto;
            ``(6) `product' means a postal service with a distinct cost 
        or market characteristic for which a rate is applied;
            ``(7) `rates', as used with respect to products, includes 
        fees for postal services;
            ``(8) `market-dominant product' or `product in the market-
        dominant category of mail' means a product subject to 
        subchapter I of chapter 36;
            ``(9) `competitive product' or `product in the competitive 
        category of mail' means a product subject to subchapter II of 
        chapter 36; and
            ``(10) `year', as used in chapter 36 (other than 
        subchapters I and VI thereof), means a fiscal year.''.

SEC. 102. POSTAL SERVICES.

    (a) In General.--Section 404 of title 39, United States Code, is 
amended--
            (1) in subsection (a), by striking paragraph (6) and by 
        redesignating paragraphs (7) through (9) as paragraphs (6) 
        through (8), respectively; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following:
    ``(c) Nothing in this title shall be considered to permit or 
require that the Postal Service provide any special nonpostal or 
similar services.''.
    (b) Conforming Amendments.--(1) Section 1402(b)(1)(B)(ii) of the 
Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (98 Stat. 2170; 42 U.S.C. 
10601(b)(1)(B)(ii)) is amended by striking ``404(a)(8)'' and inserting 
``404(a)(7)''.
    (2) Section 2003(b)(1) of title 39, United States Code, is amended 
by striking ``and nonpostal''.

                    TITLE II--MODERN RATE REGULATION

SEC. 201. PROVISIONS RELATING TO MARKET-DOMINANT PRODUCTS.

    (a) In General.--Chapter 36 of title 39, United States Code, is 
amended by striking sections 3621, 3622, and 3623 and inserting the 
following:
``Sec. 3621. Applicability; definitions
    ``(a) Applicability.--This subchapter shall apply with respect to--
            ``(1) first-class mail letters;
            ``(2) first-class mail cards;
            ``(3) periodicals;
            ``(4) standard mail;
            ``(5) single-piece parcel post;
            ``(6) media mail;
            ``(7) bound printed matter;
            ``(8) library mail;
            ``(9) special services; and
            ``(10) single-piece international mail,
subject to any changes the Postal Regulatory Commission may make under 
section 3642.
    ``(b) Rule of Construction.--Mail matter referred to in subsection 
(a) shall, for purposes of this subchapter, be considered to have the 
meaning given to such mail matter under the mail classification 
schedule.
``Sec. 3622. Modern rate regulation
    ``(a) Authority Generally.--The Postal Regulatory Commission shall, 
within 12 months after the date of the enactment of this section, by 
regulation establish (and may from time to time thereafter by 
regulation revise) a modern system for regulating rates and classes for 
market-dominant products.
    ``(b) Objectives.--Such system shall be designed to achieve the 
following objectives:
            ``(1) To reduce the administrative burden and increase the 
        transparency of the ratemaking process.
            ``(2) To create predictability and stability in rates.
            ``(3) To maximize incentives to reduce costs and increase 
        efficiency.
            ``(4) To enhance mail security and deter terrorism by 
        promoting secure, sender-identified mail.
            ``(5) To allow the Postal Service pricing flexibility, 
        including the ability to use pricing to promote intelligent 
        mail and encourage increased mail volume during nonpeak 
        periods.
            ``(6) To assure adequate revenues, including retained 
        earnings, to maintain financial stability and meet the service 
        standards established under section 3691.
            ``(7) To allocate the total institutional costs of the 
        Postal Service equitably between market-dominant and 
        competitive products.
    ``(c) Factors.--In establishing or revising such system, the Postal 
Regulatory Commission shall take into account--
            ``(1) the establishment and maintenance of a fair and 
        equitable schedule for rates and classification system;
            ``(2) the value of the mail service actually provided each 
        class or type of mail service to both the sender and the 
        recipient, including but not limited to the collection, mode of 
        transportation, and priority of delivery;
            ``(3) the direct and indirect postal costs attributable to 
        each class or type of mail service plus that portion of all 
        other costs of the Postal Service reasonably assignable to such 
        class or type;
            ``(4) the effect of rate increases upon the general public, 
        business mail users, and enterprises in the private sector of 
        the economy engaged in the delivery of mail matter other than 
        letters;
            ``(5) the available alternative means of sending and 
        receiving letters and other mail matter at reasonable costs;
            ``(6) the degree of preparation of mail for delivery into 
        the postal system performed by the mailer and its effect upon 
        reducing costs to the Postal Service;
            ``(7) simplicity of structure for the entire schedule and 
        simple, identifiable relationships between the rates or fees 
        charged the various classes of mail for postal services;
            ``(8) the relative value to the people of the kinds of mail 
        matter entered into the postal system and the desirability and 
        justification for special classifications and services of mail;
            ``(9) the importance of providing classifications with 
        extremely high degrees of reliability and speed of delivery and 
        of providing those that do not require high degrees of 
        reliability and speed of delivery;
            ``(10) the desirability of special classifications from the 
        point of view of both the user and of the Postal Service;
            ``(11) the educational, cultural, scientific, and 
        informational value to the recipient of mail matter; and
            ``(12) the policies of this title as well as such other 
        factors as the Commission deems appropriate.
    ``(d) Requirements.--The system for regulating rates and classes 
for market-dominant products shall--
            ``(1) require the Postal Rate Commission to set annual 
        limitations on the percentage changes in rates based on 
        inflation using indices, such as the Consumer Price Index, the 
        Employment Cost Index, the Gross Domestic Product Price Index, 
        or any similar measure as the Postal Rate Commission may 
        prescribe;
            ``(2) establish a schedule whereby rates, when necessary 
        and appropriate, would increase at regular intervals by 
        predictable amounts;
            ``(3) not later than 45 days before the implementation of 
        any adjustment in rates under this section--
                    ``(A) require the Postal Service to provide public 
                notice of the adjustment;
                    ``(B) provide an opportunity for review by the 
                Postal Rate Commission;
                    ``(C) provide for the Postal Rate Commission to 
                notify the Postal Service of any noncompliance of the 
                adjustment with the limitation under paragraph (1); and
                    ``(D) require the Postal Service to respond to the 
                notice provided under subparagraph (C) and describe the 
                actions to be taken to comply with the limitation under 
                paragraph (1);
            ``(4) notwithstanding any limitation set under paragraphs 
        (1) and (3), establish procedures whereby rates may be adjusted 
        on an expedited basis due to unexpected and extraordinary 
        circumstances.
    ``(e) Workshare Discounts.--
            ``(1) Definition.--In this subsection, the term `workshare 
        discount' refers to rate discounts provided to mailers for the 
        presorting, prebarcoding, handling, or transportation of mail, 
        as further defined by the Postal Regulatory Commission under 
        subsection (a).
            ``(2) Regulations.--As part of the regulations established 
        under subsection (a), the Postal Regulatory Commission shall 
        establish rules for workshare discounts that ensure that such 
        discounts do not exceed the cost that the Postal Service avoids 
        as a result of workshare activity, unless--
                    ``(A) the discount is--
                            ``(i) associated with a new postal service 
                        or with a change to an existing postal service; 
                        and
                            ``(ii) necessary to induce mailer behavior 
                        that furthers the economically efficient 
                        operation of the Postal Service;
                    ``(B) a reduction in the discount would--
                            ``(i) lead to a loss of volume in the 
                        affected category of mail and reduce the 
                        aggregate contribution to institutional costs 
                        of the Postal Service from the mail 
matter subject to the discount below what it otherwise would have been 
if the discount had not been reduced to costs avoided;
                            ``(ii) result in a further increase in the 
                        rates paid by mailers not able to take 
                        advantage of the discount; or
                            ``(iii) impede the efficient operation of 
                        the Postal Service;
                    ``(C) the amount of the discount above costs 
                avoided--
                            ``(i) is necessary to mitigate rate shock; 
                        and
                            ``(ii) will be phased out over time;
                    ``(D) the workshare discount is provided in 
                connection with subclasses of mail consisting 
                exclusively of mail matter of educational, cultural, or 
                scientific value; or
                    ``(E) the Postal Regulatory Commission determines 

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