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Pascrell-Kaptur Postal Banking Amendment Passes House

Measure would provide funds to build system that would serve tens of millions underbanked Americans, strengthen post office for years to come

U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) and Marcy Kaptur (D-OH-09) today heralded the passage in the U.S. House of Representatives of their amendment that will provide $2 million to USPS for postal banking pilot programs throughout the United States.

“Ninety percent of zip codes lacking a bank or credit union are in rural areas. Bank branches are also sparse in low income urban areas. Approximately 46 percent of Latino and 49 percent of African American households are underbanked,” Rep. Pascrell said in support of postal banking.  “Americans in red district and blue district alike could derive enormous benefit from a postal banking program. As Donald Trump and his loyalists continue their all-out assault to destroy the post office, the House continues to act not just to protect Americans’ public utility, but help it thrive for generations to come. I thank my good friend Rep. Kaptur for being my partner and helping shepherd this groundbreaking amendment through the House.”

“As a senior Member of the Appropriations Committee, I am pleased to join my dear friend Rep. Pascrell to lead this amendment to provide critical postal banking services to those who need it the most. With over 30 million unbanked and underbanked Americans, it is clear the free market banking sector has left too many working families behind, especially communities of color,” said Rep. Kaptur. “As our Nation reels from the dual COVID-19 public health and economic crisis, financial resilience and interconnectivity are more important than ever. With a branch in every rural and urban zip code and trusted by all Americans, the Postal Service must provide a financial lifeline to those in need.  As the President tries to undermine the postal service so he can influence the elections, the House has already voted to provide $25 billion in assistance. With this Amendment, we are not only defending the Postal Service and its workers, but also innovating for a more dynamic postal service and inclusive financial system.”

On March 16, Reps. Pascrell and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY-14) wrote to the chairman and ranking member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services requested the inclusion of report language support the creation of a postal banking pilot program in the Fiscal Year 2021 House Financial Services and General Government Appropriations (FSGG) bill. That request was ratified by the full House today.

Pascrell concluded, “It has been 76 days since the House passed a $25 billion lifeline to help USPS survive the pandemic, and 176 days since we passed the USPS Fairness Act to remove the single largest cause of the post office’s long-term financial instability. The McConnell Senate needs to get its act together and pass both now.”

Pascrell has also been a leader in Congress demanding reform to return the USPS to its former glory and strengthen it so it remains an integral part of American life, goals he outlined in a well-received April 2019 essay in Washington Monthly. Pascrell is a cosponsor of H.R. 2382, the USPS Fairness Act that would finally remove the health care prefunding anchor that has been strangling USPS since 2007. Pascrell is also a strong supporter of widespread postal banking, and in June 2019 his bipartisan amendment allocating $1 million to begin funding a postal banking system was passed by the House of Representatives.

On May 21, Pascrell wrote to USPS Inspector General Tammy Whitcomb demanding an investigation of turmoil at the USPS, purportedly stemming from a pattern of interference engineered by the Trump administration in its efforts to destabilize the post office.

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