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NONPROFIT CHARITIES SUFFER AS POSTAL REFORM LEGISLATION DIES IN COMMITTEE
NEW YORK, June 28, 2002 – A coalition of nonprofit charities announced today that the June 20 defeat of committee consideration of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act will have the unfortunate effect of robbing money from causes like cancer research, environmental protection and social services. That money will instead be channeled to the United States Postal Service (USPS) in the form of higher rates to stabilize its weak financial footing.
The Nonprofit Federation (NF) of the Direct Marketing Association asserted that, by preventing the bill from moving forward, United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) has effectively and self-servingly prevented needed postal reform, thereby elevating nonprofit postal rates artificially higher than they should be.
"It is irresponsible for UPS to put its narrow corporate interests ahead of people who benefit from medical research and those who need medical treatment," said Kelly Browning, executive vice president, American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), a member of the Nonprofit Federation. "Every penny going to unnecessarily high postage rates is one more penny we can not spend on research – that's just not right."
"In these still tough economic times, raising every extra penny costs a lot more," said Lee Cassidy, executive director, NF. "Narrow corporate interests should not – and cannot – be allowed to stand in the way of our good work. Congress must act on postal reform legislation and act now."
"It is hard to believe that our elected representatives would put the well-financed will of one company ahead of so many in need," said Kory Christianson, director of development, St. Joseph's Indian School in South Dakota and NF chairman. "Partisan politics and corporate greed cannot be allowed to triumph. There is still time for Congress to act in a responsible and responsive manner. Our children should not have to wait."
"The lack of movement on postal reform last week at the hands of UPS impacts nonprofits, small businesses, consumers and almost every segment of American society," said Cassidy. "UPS is afraid that a viable Postal Service will threaten its near monopoly on the parcel delivery business."
"The only winners last week were UPS and other lobbyists for whom the death of this bill was just another exercise in how to manipulate government for their own narrow interests," said Cassidy.
The goals of postal reform can best be achieved by moving the legislative process forward and taking committee action on a draft bill circulated by Rep. John McHugh (R-NY) in the fall of 2001. The draft, which has support on both sides of the aisle, is the result of nonprofit, industry and labor efforts to reform the 32-year-old law that hinders the Postal Service from competing in today's communications and delivery marketplace.
While language in a more recent draft that incorporates changes proposed by House Government Reform Chairman Dan Burton (R-IN), Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL) has raised some concerns, it also warrants consideration. The deliberative process should be allowed to run its course and should not be short-circuited by well-financed opponents who prefer the status quo.
It has been reported that United Parcel Service (UPS) has marshaled its lobbying muscle to deny the bill a House floor vote, thereby stifling debate on this critical issue. According to NF, UPS's reported efforts to thwart postal reform raise grave concerns about the future of postal reform and the apparent lack of representation given to the nine million Americans whose jobs and livelihoods depend on an effective and financially sound Postal Service.
With more than 500 members, The DMA Nonprofit Federation is by far the largest organization representing nonprofits that use direct mail, telephone, and the Internet to communicate with donors, members, and the general public.
The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is the nation's third largest cancer charity, focusing exclusively on the link between diet and cancer. The Institute provides a wide range of consumer education programs that help millions of Americans learn to make dietary changes for lower cancer risk. AICR also supports innovative research in cancer prevention and treatment at universities, hospitals and research centers across the U.S. The Institute has provided over $62 million in funding for research in diet, nutrition and cancer. AICR's Web address is www.aicr.org. AICR is a member of the World Cancer Research Fund International.
St. Joseph’s Indian School, a residential/educational facility for Native American children and youth, is an apostolate of the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, Inc. Our mission is to provide the Lakota children with an enriched and integrated living and learning environment that responds to the needs of the whole person. It develops the skills necessary to live a balanced and healthy lifestyle through education, group home living, the development and appreciation of spirituality and culture, and the promotion of personal growth and self-esteem.