Burchett reintroduces bipartisan Easy Access to Mail Act
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (Feb. 18, 2021) – Today, U.S. Representative Tim Burchett (TN-02) reintroduced the Easy Access to Mail Act. This legislation would require the United States Postal Service (USPS) to work alongside municipal governments before determining the type of mail service a community receives. Specifically, this bill would prohibit USPS from retroactively requiring home builders to install cluster mailboxes at new housing developments and would require one-time approval from a local legislative body regarding the placement of cluster mailboxes.
U.S. Representatives David Kustoff (TN-08), Bennie Thompson (MS-02), Don Young (AK-AL), Jason Smith (MO-08) and Mo Brooks (AL-05) joined Rep. Burchett to introduce this bill.
“Local communities understand their mail needs better than the federal government, and our neighborhoods deserve a say on proposed mailbox changes from the postal service,” Rep. Burchett said. “The Easy Access to Mail Act gives local officials the power to work with USPS on the type of mailboxes needed in their respective neighborhoods. I thank my colleagues for joining me in this effort.”
“I have heard from countless West Tennesseans who have concerns that the mailbox units the USPS requires for their housing developments do not properly suit the community’s needs. That is why I joined Rep. Tim Burchett in re-introducing the Easy Access to Mail Act. This important legislation will enable our local entities to work together with the United States Postal Service to fix this issue, ultimately, strengthening the voices of our local leaders and those within our communities,” said Rep. Kustoff.
Rep. Burchett previously introduced this legislation during the 116th Congress when several East Tennessee communities raised concerns over USPS requiring new housing developments to install cluster mailboxes at a central location rather than individual mailboxes in front of residences, with local communities having no voice in the process.
Local leaders said switching to cluster mailboxes could make mail retrieval more difficult, negatively impacting certain groups like seniors, disabled individuals and rural residents. If signed into law, the Easy Access to Mail Act would establish new rules and procedures for the USPS regarding the use of centralized mail delivery with respect to residential housing units.