Well, we can see how Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) spent his summer vacation. He’s been putting together a web site. And it’s a doozy. It’s called “Saving the Postal Service,” but the actions he and his cronies in Washington are advocating would actually destroy it and the service it now provides to millions of Americans.
According to The Federal Insider, the web site was launched on Wednesday (August 31). The site, which is featured under the banner of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, is patently partisan, espousing many of the agenda items the GOP has been pushing since they took over the House back in January.
Unlike Fox News (sarcasm here), the site is not fair and balanced. With hearings coming up next week, the purpose of the site is to push Issa’s efforts at hobbling the Postal Service, with the ultimate goal of eventually privatizing it.
The means by which Issa and the GOP would do this is HR 2309, which he falsely trumpets as upgrading “the Postal Service, building off what works and fixing what doesn’t.”
One of the things that isn’t working, according to Issa, is collective bargaining for its craft employees. One of the “highlights” of his bill is this: “Constant Accountability: when the Postal Service fails to pay its bills for more than 30 days, an independent watchdog is empowered to cut costs much like a bankruptcy judge when a corporation can’t pay its bills–this includes addressing expensive labor agreements…(emphasis added).”
Another of the bill’s “highlights” is “Saving through Flexible Delivery: the Postal Reform Act (HR 2309) saves an estimated $3 billion a year by giving the Postal Service the option of eliminating Saturday delivery (emphasis added).”
There’s plenty of skewed information to be had on the site including a non-fact that Issa continues to use even though he has been corrected about it numerous times. It comes under the misleading heading of: “No Taxpayer Bailouts: plan delivers an efficient, effective Postal Service without the thinly-veiled taxpayer bailout proposed by other bills (emphasis added).”
By thinly-veiled taxpayer bailouts, Issa is referring to HR 1351, a bill supported by the NALC and other postal unions. That bill, introduced by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), would allow the Postal Service to use billions of dollars in pension over-payments to meet its financial obligations–including the Congressional mandate to pre-fund the healthcare benefits of future retirees. That mandate — which no other agency has to pay — requires the USPS to fund a 75-year liability over a 10 year period and costs the Postal Service (not taxpayers) more than $5.5 billion a year.
But rather than consider that bill, Issa wants to pass his bill, a bill that would, among other things, empower a board to unilaterally cut wages, abolish benefits, and end protection against layoffs; create a commission to order $1 billion worth of post office closures in the first year, and $1 billion worth of facility closures in the second year; increase employees’ costs for healthcare and life insurance; eliminate the right to bargain over these benefits; and eliminate Saturday service (and several thousand jobs).
All of the site’s so-called “facts” and news items are slanted in favor of Issa’s plan for the Postal Service and its employees.
To contact Rep. Issa’s office, you may go here.
To contact your congressional representative and ask them to support a much better bill, HR 1351, go here.
And for the real facts on how to save the Postal Service, go to the NALC’s web site.