Office of House Bill AnalysisH.C.R. 128
By: Burnam
State Affairs


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. 


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. 


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.