Disappointing But Not Surprising: Major Postal Reform Bills Fail in 113th Congress

Congress On Vacation

NALC Legislative Dept.

113th Congress adjourns

Both the House and Senate adjourned this week and will not return to Washington until Jan. 6, when the 114th Congress will be sworn in. With regard to USPS, all of the major postal reform bills failed to pass during the 113th Congress. This means that, in 2015, letter carriers will have to start the conversation all over again regarding the Postal Service and to push for postal reforms that protect workers and the postal networks. NALC’s preparations are underway to build new relationships and alliances on issues of importance to letter carriers…

With regard to USPS, all of the major postal reform bills—both the good (H.R. 961 and S. 316) and the bad (H.R. 2748 and S. 1486)—failed to pass during the 113th Congress.

As far as the returning members of Congress are concerned, we will to continue to focus on educating them and promoting good legislation that protects letter carriers’ interest and the postal networks.

During the 114th Congress, postal issues will almost certainly be prominently debated in the crafting of new postal reform bills, in the annual appropriations process and in ongoing funding debates. Just as we do with each Congress, the NALC in 2015 will get another bite at the apple when shaping policy surrounding our core issues, including protecting six-day mail delivery, addressing the onerous pre-funding mandate, preserving existing service standards and using the Postal Service’s valuable infrastructure and networks to innovate and grow. Protecting the USPS’ viability and future is entirely dependent on letter carrier activists continuing to educate Congress regarding the invaluable services that we provide and our importance to communities around the country.

Our mobilization efforts will be paramount in getting lawmakers to embrace the right postal reform. Please monitor the Government Affairs web page in the coming weeks for news and updates regarding the 114th Congress and NALC’s legislative and political efforts. Click here for more details.

FY 2015 government funding approved

House and Senate lawmakers approved a measure to fund government operations through Fiscal Year 2015. NALC, along with the other three postal worker unions, lobbied successfully to retain and preserve our long-standing appropriations language that mandates six-day mail delivery. The unions also worked with lawmakers to put an end to outgoing Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe’s plan to close and/or consolidate 82 mail processing plants, but in the end, appropriators failed to act. However, lawmakers did include language indicating how the USPS Office of Inspector General concluded that USPS had not completed all of the required impact analyses. Appropriators also inserted language in the “cromnibus” regarding letter carrier safety. The cromnibus also included alarming calls to significantly cut pension benefits for some current recipients who are covered under a multi-employer pension plan. Click here for more details.

Senate committee assignments announced

When the House and Senate convene on Jan. 6, both bodies will be under Republican-majority leadership, with the Senate having 54 Republicans, 44 Democrats and two Independents and the House having 247 Republicans and 188 Democrats. This week, Senate Democrats announced their committee leadership assignments; as this was prepared, Senate Republicans had only announced committee assignments but not committee leaders. Complete details and announcements regarding final House committee and subcommittee assignments are not expected to be made official until the House reconvenes in January. Additional announcements regarding committee assignments, size and leadership are expected in the coming weeks. 2015 will see numerous discussions on Capitol Hill about the Postal Service, primarily postal reform. Click here for more details.

Other stories that may be of interest:

NALC: Expect legislative battles in the new year.

Christmas seasons will never be the same.

How a Major Postal Overhaul Nearly Made Its Way Into the CRomnibus.

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