by Fredric V. Rolando, President
National Association of Letter Carriers
Details remain scarce, but we know there are negotiations happening between the leaders of the House and Senate committees with jurisdiction over the USPS to cut a deal on postal reform.
In addition, as this report suggests, a USPS “overhaul” is one of the options under consideration in the Congress-White House talks to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff” on Jan. 1. (That is when huge tax increases and large budget cuts are scheduled to take effect if Congress and President Obama cannot agree to an alternative budget compromise.)
Our position on postal reform during this lame-duck session of Congress is clear: We oppose action on postal reform based on the flawed bills that have advanced in Congress, S. 1789 and H.R. 2309. Both bills sacrifice Saturday delivery and begin to dismantle the Postal Service just to maintain the unaffordable and unfair 2006 mandate to massively pre-fund future retiree health benefits. And neither bill offers a plausible business model for the future.
And flawed postal reform should not be used to achieve deficit reduction in the fiscal cliff talks—the USPS has not received taxpayer funding in decades and does not contribute to the budget deficit.
I have held meetings with White House officials to share these views and to offer alternative approaches to postal reform next year. And our legislative and political affairs staff is working around the clock to defend letter carrier interests.
We need you to keep doing your part. Keep calling your senators and representatives in Congress and tell them, “No postal reform during the lame-duck session.” The Capitol switchboard can be reached at 202-224-3121.
If you called earlier this week or last week, call again. If you haven’t called, do so immediately. Urge your fellow postal employees, family members and friends to do the same.
America deserves thoughtful reform that will create a healthy Postal Service that can thrive in the 21st century, not a rushed “compromise” focused on short-term budget considerations. There is still time to do this right next year.
If necessary, we will hold a national tele-town hall meeting in the days or weeks ahead if postal legislation emerges during the lame-duck session of Congress.