Whenever Congress stands poised to do something bipartisan, watch your wallet. The devil is often in the details. So it is with the Postal Service Reform Act of 2021. Section 202 of the bill threatens to let the Postal Service hide the costs of its package-delivery service in ways that could end up subsidizing Amazon and other package shippers at the expense of letter mail.
That is partly a result of ambiguous language in the bill, but it also reflects a deeper identity crisis over the decline in the Postal Service’s letter-mail business and its drive to replace that business with package delivery. Section 202 should be rewritten to remove or clarify its proposal for an “integrated network” uniting mail and packages.