House committee passes Issa bill : The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee passed Chairman Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) postal bill on Wednesday. NALC opposes H.R. 2748—click here to read why we asked all committee members to vote no. Click here to read NALC President Fredric Rolando’s statement on Wednesday’s session. No House floor vote has yet been scheduled for the bill.
Six-day mail still on the table for now: The House Appropriations Committee on July 17 approved the financial services appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2014. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved its own financial services bill on July 25. The language mandating the Postal Service maintain six-day mail delivery service was included in both measures. Each bill must still be approved by its own full chamber before advancing to President Obama to be signed into law.
From other media:
Darrell Issa’s Got a Plan to Put the Postal Service in a Death Spiral by John Nichols: Congressman Darrell Issa really is determined to end the United States Postal Service as Americans know it—indeed, as Americans have known it for more than 200 years. Issa, the powerful chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has a long history of attacking the postal service. But, now, he has taken advantage of a manufactured crisis to get his committee to vote twenty-two to seven in favor of a “Postal Reform Act of 2013” that American Postal Workers Union president Cliff Guffey warns “will lead to the demise of the Postal Service.” With Wednesday’s committee vote, the full House is now set to consider a plan that would, among other things, phase out door-to-door mail delivery by 2022. Instead of the traditional and highly popular delivery model that now exists, mail would be left in so-called “neighborhood cluster boxes” that would serve multiple residences. The Issa plan also sets the stage for the elimination of most weekend mail service. (Read The Nation article here.)
Defending the Postal Service With Facts and Context by NALC President Fredric Rolando: Misinformation abounds about the situation facing the United States Postal Service. This was exemplified by a July 17 IBD commentary (“Hybrid Model Can Deliver Acceptable Postal Reform”) that misconstrued the financial picture, stood reality on its head by stating that postal unions seek to maintain the status quo and argued for dismantling and selling off the Postal Service. In so doing,the writer blithely ignored that the federal responsibility to deliver the nation’s mail is rooted in the Constitution. IBD readers deserve facts and context. Two major factors are driving the red ink people hear about at the USPS. (You can read the rest of President Rolando’s article here.)
I Smell a Rat! Congressman Darrell Issa’s Birthday Present for the U.S. Postal Service by Doug Porter: Since they can’t eliminate the Post Office due to some pesky legal wording (It’s explicitly authorized by the United States Constitution), conservative types have been doing their best over the past couple of decades to cut it down to the smallest possible size. After all, everybody knows the Post Office is bleeding money. Except that it’s bleeding money because that’s what Republicans in Congress wanted. From The Motley Fool: “In 2006, Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, forcing USPS to pre-fund the present value of 75 years of its pension and health-benefit fund in 10 years — about $5.5 billion annually for a business mandated to break even.” No other government agency faces this requirement. (You can read the rest of the San Diego Free Press article by clicking here.)