Issa Introduces Postal “Reform” Act

Congressman Darrell Issa has introduced his promised postal “reform” bill. Issa’s legislation would create a BRAC-like commission to determine which post offices, processing plants, and administrative offices should be closed down. The most far reaching provision, however, is the creation of a control board which would take control of the USPS if it defaults on any obligation to the federal government. The control board would have the power to remove officers and managers, and to rewrite existing collective bargaining agreements as needed to “achieve specific economic savings and workforce flexibility goals”.

It would, in effect, use the Congressionally mandated, arbitrary PAEA trust fund mandates as a pretext to place the USPS in receivership. Without the trust fund payments, the USPS would be in reasonable financial shape (and virtually debt free), given the poor economic climate.

Here is the press release issued by Issa’s office:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Seeking to prevent another taxpayer bailout, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, introduced today legislation to implement sweeping, structural reforms of the United States Postal Service (USPS). The legislation represents the most fundamental reform of the postal service that has been proposed since USPS was first created from the old Post Office Department.

“The Postal Service lost $8.5 billion last year. It is going to lose, at least, $8.3 billion this year. And it is projected to lose $8.5 billion the year after that,” Issa said. “Congress can’t keep kicking the can down the road on out of control labor costs and excess infrastructure of USPS and needs to implement reforms that aren’t a multi-billion dollar taxpayer funded bailout.”

The legislation creates the Postal Service Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority (Authority) which will have a broad mandate to restructure the Postal Service and reduce costs in order to bring the institution back to fiscal solvency when the Postal Service goes into default to the Federal government. The Authority will be disbanded once USPS meets several benchmarks that ensure financial health.

The legislation empanels a separate body, the Commission on Postal Reorganization (CPR) to review postal infrastructure and recommend closures and consolidations to Congress, that will ultimately save the Postal Service at least $2 billion a year. If Congress does not reject the CPR’s recommendations, they become law. The legislation will also remove several legal hurdles that USPS currently faces when it comes to reducing costs, including allowing financially unsustainable retail postal facilities to be closed.

“This legislation encourages USPS to modernize its retail network and enables USPS to act more like a business,” Issa said.

The legislation will eliminate the benefit disparity between the postal workforce and other federal employees, which would have saved $700 million in fiscal year 2010, and it will ensure that postal wages are comparable to the private sector. The bill will also make several changes to USPS revenue and contracting policies.

Issa introduced the bill the day after USPS announced it would stop paying the employer share of its employees’ retirement fund. “USPS has felt the need to give themselves a taxpayer-funded bailout. This unprecedented action indicates the urgent need for these reforms,” Issa said.

The changes in the Postal Reform Act that can be currently quantified will save USPS at least $6 billion per year when fully in effect. The Authority will be required to make additional adjustments to bring costs into line with expenditures in order to avoid the prospect taxpayer bailouts in the future.

Highlights of the Postal Reform Act include:

  • Postal BRAC: Creates the Commission on Postal Reorganization to eliminate costly excess capacity and facilities. Over its first year the CPR will recommend closures worth $1 billion/year for post offices. Over the second, it will recommend $1 billion/year closures for mail processing and a 30% reduction in management facilities.
  • Solvency Authority: Creates an Authority modeled on and named after the DC Control Board with a mandate to cut costs, protect universal service, and return USPS to financial solvency. The Authority is triggered into existence when USPS goes into default on any obligation to the federal government for more than 30 days. It has the authority to require renegotiation of existing collective bargaining agreements and the power to unilaterally modify those agreements if renegotiation fails. To accomplish its mission, the Authority may use a supplemental borrowing authority of $10 billion, backed by USPS property as collateral.
  • 5-Day Delivery: Allows USPS to move to 5-day delivery of mail.
  • Pay Comparability: Clarifies existing law to include wages and benefits in determining total compensation comparability with the entire private sector.
  • Health and Life Insurance: Requires USPS employees to pay the same health and life insurance premium percentage as other federal workers. This provision is phased in to apply to union employees after their current bargaining agreements expire.
  • Mediation Arbitration: Modifies the collective bargaining process to the 2003 Presidential Commission recommended mediation-arbitration process. Also requires arbitrators to take into account total compensation comparability and the financial situation of the Postal Service in any decision.
  • Cost Coverage: Requires all market-dominant products to cover costs, while maintaining the CPI price cap.
  • Underwater Products: For classes below 90% cost coverage, rates are increased by 5% annually above the price cap.
  • Non-Profit Discount: The non-profit advertising discount is reduced by 5% a year from 40% to 10% of the most closely corresponding class.
  • Political Committees: Ends the rate preferences for national and state political committees.
  • Advertising: Authorizes USPS to sell advertising space on USPS facilities and vehicles. All advertising must maintain at least 200% cost coverage and be consistent with USPS’s integrity.
  • State Government Services: Authorizes USPS to provide services for state governments that enhances USPS’s value to the public. Such services must not interfere with or detract from the value of postal services.
  • Contracting accountability and transparency: Reaffirms accountability for delegations of contracting authority and requires their disclosure when outside the functional contracting unit. Requires disclosure of most noncompetitive purchase requests above $250,000.
  • Contracting ethics: Requires USPS to establish regulations to prevent conflicts of interest in the contracting area, with ethics officials reviewing any ethics issues that arise.

Darrell Issa’s postal reform bill

  • tlk

    Gotta love how people who have never worked in the industry somehow magically know it all.

    Who is going to deliver the mail when a carrier has a day off? The subs will be quitting when the 6th day (their only guaranteed day per week) is eliminated.

    Good luck getting the mail delivered.

  • Tin Man

    Maybe Issa should read down about three paragraphs in the below to see he is way off the mark as to reguards of why the Postal Service exists…
    Issa is all mouth and exists to only put gas on the fire, what a loon…

    (a) The United States Postal Service shall be operated as a basic and fundamental service provided to the people by the Government of the United States, authorized by the Constitution, created by Act of Congress, and supported by the people.

    The Postal Service shall have as its basic function the obligation to provide postal services to bind the Nation together through the personal, educational, literary, and business correspondence of the people.

    It shall provide prompt, reliable, and efficient services to patrons in all areas and shall render postal services to all communities.

    The costs of establishing and maintaining the Postal Service shall not be apportioned to impair the overall value of such service to the people. (b) The Postal Service shall provide a maximum degree of effective and regular postal services to rural areas, communities, and small towns where post offices are not self-sustaining.

    No small post office shall be closed solely for operating at a deficit, it being the specific intent of the Congress that effective postal services be insured to residents of both urban and rural communities. (c) As an employer, the Postal Service shall achieve and maintain compensation for its officers and employees comparable to the rates and types of compensation paid in the private sector of the economy of the United States.

    It shall place particular emphasis upon opportunities for career advancements of all officers and employees and the achievement of worthwhile and satisfying careers in the service of the United States. (d) Postal rates shall be established to apportion the costs of all postal operations to all users of the mail on a fair and equitable basis. (e) In determining all policies for postal services, the Postal Service shall give the highest consideration to the requirement for the most expeditious collection, transportation, and delivery of important letter mail. (f) In selecting modes of transportation, the Postal Service shall give highest consideration to the prompt and economical delivery of all mail and shall make a fair and equitable distribution of mail business to carriers providing similar modes of transportation services to the Postal Service.

    Modern methods of transporting mail by containerization and programs designed to achieve overnight transportation to the destination of important letter mail to all parts of the Nation shall be a primary goal of postal operations. (g) In planning and building new postal facilities, the Postal Service shall emphasize the need for facilities and equipment designed to create desirable working conditions for its officers and employees, a maximum degree of convenience for efficient postal services, proper access to existing and future air and surface transportation facilities, and control of costs to the Postal Service.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Effective Date

    Section effective Jan. 20, 1971, pursuant to Resolution No. 71-10 of the Board of Governors.

    See section 15(a) of Pub. L. 91-375, set out as a note preceding this section.

    SHORT TITLE OF 2002 AMENDMENT Pub. L. 107-206, title III, Sec. 3002(a), Aug. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 910, provided that: “This title [amending section 5402 of this title, section 2703 of Title 19, Customs Duties, section 1626 of Title 43, Public Lands, and section 41901 of Title 49, Transportation, and enacting provisions set out as notes under section 5402 of this title, section 112 of Title 1, General Provisions, and sections 2703 and 3203 of Title 19] may be cited as the ‘Rural Service Improvement Act of 2002’.” SHORT TITLE OF 2001 AMENDMENT Pub. L. 107-67, title VI, Sec. 650(a), Nov. 12, 2001, 115 Stat. 556, provided that: “This section [amending section 414 of this title and enacting provisions set out as a note under section 414 of this title] may be cited as the ‘Breast Cancer Research Stamp Act of 2001’.” SHORT TITLE OF 2000 AMENDMENT Pub. L. 106-253, Sec. 1, July 28, 2000, 114 Stat. 634, provided that: “This Act [enacting section 416 of this title, amending section 414 of this title, and enacting provisions set out as notes under sections 414 and 416 of this title] may be cited as the ‘Semipostal Authorization Act’.” SHORT TITLE OF 1998 AMENDMENT Pub. L. 105-241, Sec. 1, Sept. 28, 1998, 112 Stat. 1572, provided that: “This Act [enacting section 415 of this title and amending sections 404 and 3622 of this title, section 7902 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees, and sections 652 and 668 of Title 29, Labor] may be cited as the ‘Postal Employees Safety Enhancement Act’.” SHORT TITLE OF 1997 AMENDMENT Pub. L. 105-41, Sec. 1, Aug. 13, 1997, 111 Stat. 1119, provided that: “This Act [enacting section 414 of this title and provisions set out as a note under section 414 of this title] may be cited as the ‘Stamp Out Breast Cancer Act’.” SHORT TITLE OF 1993 AMENDMENT Pub. L. 103-123, title VII, Sec. 701(a), Oct. 28, 1993, 107 Stat. 1267, provided that: “This title [enacting section 3642 of this title, amending sections 410, 2401, 3202, 3601, 3625 to 3627, and 3683 of this title, and enacting provisions set out as notes under sections 2401, 3621, 3626, and 3683 of this title] may be cited as the ‘Revenue Forgone Reform Act’.” SHORT TITLE OF 1976 AMENDMENT Pub. L. 94-421, Sec. 1, Sept. 24, 1976, 90 Stat. 1303, provided: “That this Act [amending sections 404, 2003, 2401, 3601, 3604, 3622, 3623, 3624, 3626, 3641, and 3683 of this title, and enacting provisions set out as notes under sections 404, 3601, 3624, 3641, and 3661 of this title] may be cited as the ‘Postal Reorganization Act Amendments of 1976’.” SHORT TITLE Pub. L. 91-375, Sec. 1, Aug. 12, 1970, 84 Stat. 719, provided: “That this Act [revising this title, enacting sections 1735 to 1737 of Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure, amending section 356 of Title 2, The Congress, section 19 of Title 3, The President, sections 101, 104, 2104, 2105, 3104, 3304a, 4301, 5102, 5303, 5304, 5312, 5314 to 5316, 5541, 6301, 6323, 7101, and 8344 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees, sections 24 seventh par., 1701d-3, and 1701e of Title 12, Banks and Banking, section 637 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade, section 460l-1 of Title 16, Conservation, section 8 of former Title 17, Copyrights, sections 12, 440, 441, 500, 501, 612, 876, 877, 1114, 1303, 1341, 1342, 1463, 1696, 1699, 1703, 1704, 1707, 1709 to 1713, 1715, 1716, 1716A, 1717, 1718, 1721 to 1725, 1729, 1730, 1733, and 3061 of Title 18, section 611 of Title 22, Foreign Relations and Intercourse, sections 72 fifth par., 129, and 724a of former Title 31, Money and Finance, sections 356, 474, 615, 723, and 724 of former Title 40, Public Buildings, Property, and Works, and section 2942 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, repealing section 3327 of Title 5 and section 1028 of former Title 31, and enacting provisions set out as notes under this section and sections 201, 601, 1001, 1003, 1201, 2002, 2004, 3010, and 3621 of this title] may be cited as the ‘Postal Reorganization Act’.”

    Read more: http://us-code.vlex.com/vid/sec-postal-policy-19236133#ixzz1Q7cNM3zp

  • Navy Veteran

    VERA now for all …I have 35yrs but only 53 of age.
    Let me retire and you can save money.

  • tlk

    Hear Issa received $9,500.00 from UPS last year.

  • brian

    Navy: The problem isn’t too many employees- it’s Congress siphoning off money.

  • jim

    leve the collective bargaining aggreements alone. leave our payscales alone. the craft workers do the work. get rid of top heavy managment this is what will help the post office. and congress leave us alone

  • Lifer

    Issa is an IDIOT. He’s trying to make a name for himself. He has no business interfering with the USPS. Government stepped in back in 2006 with the PAEA and look where it got them.
    Anytime Politicians stick their nose in anything they RUIN it. IE: Social Security, Medicare, Food Stamps, the Military are just a few I can think of.
    If this bill passes it will ruin the Post Office as well.

  • mutts

    simple problem, easy fix
    appoint a commission and find out once and for all if the post office
    overpaid 50 to 70 billion dollars in prefunding. if so, paid the post office in full
    the entire amount now, no installments! if the united states government
    is unable to paid, put it into receivership, take over the government.
    through all these meat heads in congress out of office for bankrupting
    America.

    i dare you (issa) to put your money where you mouth is. let the chips fall
    where they may.
    i am willing to go along with your bill if the post office did not over paid.

    i want to know the truth.
    do you?

  • Larry

    Issa is your typical republican
    all he wants is to allow private business to take over. sort of like how the banls ruined the country. No regulations and we see what happenes to business’s. They are the real crooks and the republicans are the slime of the earth who only support those who support them.
    What about all those do nothing managers over the years what a joke this is

  • employee of USPS

    I’m so tired of hearing taxpayer bailout. It’ like telling me I can’t pay my bills with the money I have in my savings account. It is not taxpayer money it is USPS money.
    Spell his last name backward- ASS I

  • Rich

    Mr Is sa idiot, if Postal Workers are going to pay the same for Health Coverage as other Federal Workers, does that mean you and your goons are going to do the same? Wait, it probably will not matter anyway since you make $170,000 a year plus. The monies you take from lobbyist on top of that. No telling what other incomes you have coming in. But you want to screw with Postal Workers that make a decent living, not your kind of money but decent, and you want to take all of that away. I am a registered Republican and a veteran. I swear you guys are getting nuttier by the moment. I don’t think I will ever vote for another republican again, you guys have all gone nuts. You want the postal service to run like a regular business then first of all give us back what is ours. You guys are destroying this country. It took me along time to figure out who was really the snake in the grass, I just hope all the other nuts that are like I was wake up before it is too late.

  • Ross Issa

    Reform? Sounds like Deform? Contact the Democrats and have them vote against it like the Republicans did with HR1351

  • richard

    is this the same issahole that avoided arson charges?

  • ISSA JIM DANDY

    Pull your lip over your head and swallow yourself ISSA!!!

  • Mike

    Does this idiot even know the meaning of the words “taxpayer funded bailout”? It’s not funded by the taxpayers and its not a bailout you dumbass. Issa needs to go read the book, “Accounting for Dummies”. On the other hand, if I ever need someone to pick up dog crap out of my yard I know who to call.

    I wonder who he thinks is gonna stick around when they cancel the union contracts and start paying us $10.00 and hour with no benefits. I will be heading for the door along with all my co-workers. Nobody is gonna put up with the crap we take for that kind of money.

  • bubba

    ISSA YOUR A LOSER!!!!!!!!!!!!ISSA HOW MUCH MONEY DO YOU MAKE A YEAR FOR BEING A LOUDMOUTH LOSER?usps doesnt receive tax payer money issa are you that stupid to think usps needs a tax bailout?usps just needs idiots like you to leave our money alone and stop paying into an overfunded pension.ISSA YOU ARE THE BIGGEST LOSER!!!I WOULD LIKE TO SEE ISSA SUPPORT HIS FAMILY ON 10$ AN HOUR!!!!ONCE AGAIN ISSA YOUR A LOSER!!!!!!!!!!

  • bubba

    TAX PAYER BAILOUT would mean you receive money from taxpayers?ISSA YOUR SO STUPID USPS DOESNT RECEIVE TAX MONEY YOU LOSER!!!!!THE REASON ISSA WANTS USPS TO KEEP PAYING INTO AN OVERFUNDED PENSION SO THE SLIMY IDIOT CAN KEEP RECEIVING HIS PAYCHECK!!!!!!!!!ISSA YOUR AN IDIOT!!!!!!!!MY POSTAL REFORM BILL IS TO REPLACE ISSA !!!!!!!!!

  • NALC JIM

    IF THE (D)IZZI BILL PASSES, THE SENATE WOULD NEVER APPROVE OF IT. IF THEY DID OBAMA WOULD NOT SIGN IT. WHAT (D)IZZI DOES NOT KNOW IS THAT A REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON, AUTHORIZED COLLECTIVE BARGAINING IN 1970. IT HAS MEANT BETTER CONDITIONS FOR LABOR AND MANAGEMENT.

  • Tricky Dick

    This sleazebag is just grandstanding, he knows it will never pass. But he can put in on his resume and say “hey I tried” but most intelligent people will see how ridiculous it was. However the mass of ignorant neo-cons will think it was right.

  • jlc

    im thinking we are all going to get a raise, does mr issa realize that the only comparable private sector jobs are fedex and ups, they make more than we do. i only have 3 1/2 years to go and now this idiot is going to “fix” this. the government is run so well, and of course the government can run on their budget, oh, wait, they cant, so isnt that like the pot calling the kettle black? we are sooooooo screwed.

  • Reagen

    Its simple 5 day delivery 3 billon in savings a year but this Congress is to self motivated, concerns of the Nation do not concern them unless there is something for them.

  • TOM

    ANY SAVVY ACCOUNTANT CAN SEE THAT THE POSTAL SERVICE IS BAILING OUT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.
    THEY HAVE BEEN FOR YEARS.
    THE OVER FUNDED MONEY IS ALREADY SPENT.
    ENOUGH WITH THE SMOKE SCREEN. THE AMERICAN PUBLIC IS NOT AS GULLIBLE AS IN THE PAST.

  • rikala

    Give us back our money and we’ll be in the black.
    It’s not a bailout it’s an overpayment
    If you raise our salaries to the level of the private sector
    I will be getting a raise
    If you change our benefit cost to that of the private sector
    I would get another raise
    If we go to 5 days a week, 1 out 6 employees will lose their
    job and unemployment in this country is a disgrace as it
    is
    If you charge us more for our health benefits, how about
    all of you in congress pay your fair share
    Just try and nullify our contract. The strick in the 70’s
    was just the tip of the iceberg compared to what would
    happen today.
    Why doesn’t somebody sit this jack— down, pull that silver spoon out of his mouth and then his foot and explain to him what the true facts are

  • Mp

    The government took over GM; what makes you think they won’t take us over. They will also bring that feather to the table and say we did it once we can do it again. That sad thing is that it is that small percentage of employees dragging the good employees down. We need to get rid of the dead weight in the craft and in management. We know who they are in each office. They bring back mail that someone else has to finish, the spread the mail to slow and Need to be backed up everyday to clear the carriers, or theY manage from behind their desk and let everyone else figure it out. Good luck. Hope you have some money saved or a job lined up for when the pony comes to a stop for a couple of weeks.

  • Mailer

    Issa knows how to run a business: the minute it doesn’t turn a profit, you burn it to the ground and collect the insurance money.

  • Gregg

    Let this MORON introduce as many acts as it takes to right the USPS sinking ship.If it does not get done soon[which it won’t] then the USPS will go under. Hey,nobody will care.Everything the USPS does can be done online.UPS or Fedex can deliver your medication.Pay your bills online.Send Holiday,birthday and special occasion e-cards.The list goes on and on.Hey,nobody uses the Postal Service anyway.See how they feel if it’s not around!!Guess the USPS is like your local cable television provider.

  • OG

    Gregg: UPS and Fedex cannot deliver to every address for the amount the Postal Service is already doing in an effective manner.

    OG

  • Proud Product of the USA

    Oh Gregg ignorance is not a virtue. The Postal Service delivers UPS and Fed Ex packages the last mile because they cannot afford to do so. As far as nobody using the Post Office. What about just the billions of first class letters delivered every year. Not to mention the packages. You have the right not to like your local Post Office that is 235+ years old and 80% of american people believe is the most trusted goverment agency. But don’t give out bad information about something you obviously know nothing about. You know what america is in dire straights do to individuals that think like you. Do you happen to be part of the 2%? Or is your name Koch, Bachman, Isaa????

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