HBA-DMD H.C.R. 128 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.C.R. 128 By: Burnam State Affairs 4/23/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE In recent years, the United States Postal Service has expanded its activities beyond its core mission of universal mail service to include many non-postal related business products and services, such as consumer goods, telephone calling cards and cellular towers. The United States Postal Service has used surplus revenues from universal mail delivery to expand into these non-postal related businesses, which have increased operating costs. The United States Postal Service, an agency of the federal government, is not subject to anti-trust laws due to its ability to maintain artificially low prices for competitive products through subsidization with first class postage surpluses and its ability to set the rates of private sector competitors. In addition, the United States Postal Service, an agency of the federal government, enjoys many marketplace advantages not available to private sector enterprises, including exemption from state and local taxes, fees and government regulations, which deprives Texas state and local governments of needed revenue and fees to offset the effect of the United States Postal Service operations on highways, law enforcement and air quality. The United States Postal Service, although an agency of the federal government, is accountable to no agency or branch of the federal government except the Postal Rate Commission, which does not have binding authority over the actions or activities of the United States Postal Service related to setting postal rates, entering new business sectors, or using surplus revenues from first class mail to subsidize enterprises that compete with the private sector. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS H.C.R. 128 requests that the United States Congress, particularly the members from the Texas congressional delegation, to introduce and pass legislation in the 106th Congress to strengthen the oversight power and the authority of the Postal Rate Commission (commission), by giving the commission subpoena power in order to examine all records and financial data prior to consideration of any postal rate increase or pricing action which could affect products also offered by private sector entities, by giving the commission final approval authority on all postal rate adjustments, including international and parcel delivery rates and by giving the commission the authority over all non-postal business endeavors, including all products and services outside the scope of universal mail service. H.C.R. 128 requests that the secretary of state forward an official copy of this resolution to the president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives of the United States Congress, and to all members of the Texas delegation to the congress with the request that it be officially entered in the Congressional Record as a memorial to the congress and other officials of the federal government.