October 25, 2021

Lawmakers: USPS does not have statutory authority to expand its postal banking pilot program without congressional approval

Capitol HillFriday, House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Patrick McHenry, R-N.C. and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Ranking Member James Comer, R-Ky., wrote to United States Postal Service Postmaster General Louis Dejoy expressing their concerns regarding a USPS pilot program offering paycheck-cashing services – which quietly launched Sept. 13. The pilot program allows customers to use payroll or business checks to purchase single-use gift cards of up to $500 at post office locations in four cities.

"Not only does USPS lack the statutory authority to expand its non-postal services without congressional approval, but USPS has neglected to share information about this pilot program with the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, the House Committee on Financial Services, and other stakeholders in Congress," wrote the lawmakers in a press release on the letter. "USPS’s plans to become involved in financial services is a significant deviation from what USPS communicated to Congress in public and in private."

Comer and McHenry also urged the USPS to provide an immediate briefing and any information into the planning and implementation of the new program.

Read the full Letter to Postmaster General DeJoy here. The letter echoes many of the same points noted by NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger when the program was first announced.

In addition, last month, NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler wrote to both the Senate Banking Committee and House Financial Services Committee to further outline the credit union industry's issues with the expansion of financial services and postal banking by the USPS.

NAFCU will continue to reiterate the industry's concerns regarding the pilot program – in addition to any postal banking-related proposals – and provide updates on this issue via NAFCU Today.