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Congress Considers Eliminating Reduced Rates for Nonprofit Mail

(Aug. 16, 2011) The U.S. Postal Service’s financial crisis has resulted in the introduction of four different bills in Congress to address the problem. One of those bills, H.R. 2309, the Postal Reform Act, introduced by Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA), contains a provision that would wipe out reduced rates for nonprofit mail. 

The Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers, which AFP works with on nonprofit mailing issues, has asked the association and its members to contact Congressman Issa and other members of the House of Representatives to let them know of the devastating effect the elimination would have on nonprofits’ ability to serve American society.

Attached is a fact sheet that frames the issue and provides an outline for correspondence to Congressman Issa and other congressmen. Please do not copy this fact sheet in a letter or send the fact sheet as an attachment. Instead, briefly lift important points, emphasizing the impact information on your organization in Section II. It’s also important to include positive comments about the bill that are outlined in Section IV, noting that we agree with the primary purpose of the bill which is to rein in out-of-control Postal Service costs. 

Please keep your letter to one page--the simpler and more direct the better. 

Here is an example of how to construct your letter:

Date

Honorable Darrell Issa
Chairman, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC  20515 

Dear Chairman Issa:

We are writing to express our opposition to the nonprofit provision in H.R. 2309, the Postal Reform Act.

Special postage rates for qualified nonprofit organizations have existed since 1951, reflecting the sense of Congress that nonprofits strengthen our civil society. The virtual elimination of the nonprofit rate discount as proposed in Section 403 of H.R. 2309 would equate to rate increases in the order of 35 percent.

(Explain briefly how this would impact your organization, as outlined in Section II)

We do not disagree with most of H.R. 2309, as it proposes to rein in out of control Postal Service costs. We support most of those cost control measures, including Section 111 which would allow the Postal Service to end Saturday mail delivery. 

Phasing out the nonprofit rate discount, however, would punish nonprofit mailers and the people they serve. It is unfair to punish nonprofits for the Postal Service’s inability to control its own costs.

Sincerely,

In addition to Congressman Issa, letters also should be sent to the following members of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform:

Congressman Dennis Ross (R-FL)
Congressman Justin Amash (R-MI)
Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH)
Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)
Congressman Connie Mack (R-FL)
Congressman Tim Walberg (R-MI)
Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC)

The letters to these congressmen would have the same address as the sample above, but instead of “Chairman” in the salutation print “Congressman.” These congressmen are members of the committee, Congressman Issa is the chairman.

All letters should be faxed to 202-225-3974.

The Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers is based in Washington, D.C. (www.nonprofitmailers.org)

Attachments

Issue Fact Sheet — PDF Format

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