Postal “reform” fight shows how corrupt our legislative process has become

Tomorrow a committee of the House of Representatives will vote on legislation proposed by Darrell Issa that would essentially destroy the US Postal Service. In all likelihood, the bill will then be approved by the full House on a party line vote, or close to it. It will then be sent to the Senate, where it will die.

So what’s wrong with that? It’s the democratic process, right?

Wrong.

The problem is that Darrell’s bill is cosponsored by just one other Congressman, Darrell’s trusty sidekick Dennis Ross. Meanwhile, an alternative proposal by Congressman Stephen Lynch, which would rescue the USPS by giving it access to some of the billions in past profits that were siphoned off by Congress, will go nowhere, despite the fact that it is cosponsored by a bipartisan majority in the House.

Of course, even if House members were somehow allowed to vote on the Lynch bill, and it passed, it would still die in the Senate under current rules, since the minority is allowed to block passage of a bill there unless it receives 60 votes.

The whole episode brings into question the premise that our Congress works on democratic principles. If members of both houses were allowed to vote on the Lynch bill, and the majority ruled, it seems likely that some version of it would become law, and the USPS would have the breathing room it needs to adjust to falling mail volumes.

Instead, Republicans in both houses will thwart the will of the majority, to further their goals of destroying postal workers’ unions, and eliminating as many middle class jobs as possible. Eliminating good jobs seems to be an obsession with the GOP recently, since it helps increase unemployment, which they will, of course, blame on the President.

And they wonder why people are taking to the streets!

  • Senior man

    Unless some type of reform is reached soon the public is going to start looking to close the store all together. The only and I repeat the only people that would be affected by this bill are the excess supervisors and employees that are over due for retirement. Our company is too top heavy which means the senior staff has to move on. Carriers will start to deliver only to curve sides( no more steps) and will have their pY and benefits protected. Middle class in America for a family of four is 80,000.00 a letter carrier makes no where near that much. If anything pay can only go up with a fair pay act.

  • craft director

    The USPS should stop bailing out Congress. We should only send them the same percentage that the other agencies are prefunding at. The people need to see how underfunded the other agencies really are. Stop the Ponzi scheme Issa and Ross!

  • brian

    Senior- so I guess we can assume you’re not a supervisor, or retirement eligible, so you don’t really care what happens to those people. Nice attitude.
    But even though you’re obviously only looking out for yourself, you might want to take the time to actually read what Issa and Donahoe have in mind.
    In the first place, kiss no-layoff good bye. If someone gets the bright idea to reorganize your unit out of existence, you won’t have to worry about VERAs or buyouts- they’ll just show you the door.
    And get ready to redefine your full time job- you don’t think you’ll be “affected” when your workweek shrinks to 30 hours?
    Even though your pay will probably go down, your health premiums will undoubtedly go up once USPS gets out of FEHBP and you have one company to choose from. Sure, they’ll probably have multiple plan choices, but they won’t be competing with anyone, so if you don’t like their prices, just get over it.
    And it’s so nice that you think you’re underpaid! Ever read what Issa thinks about USPS pay and benefits? And you actually think his bill would increase your pay?? Have you got some more of whatever it is you’re smoking?

  • Larry

    any postal worker who votes republican shuld be thrown out of the union and shunned by their peers.
    Issa is a phony as was george Bush you know a compassionate Conservative. Their is no such thing

  • Long term plan

    Why didn’t the Postal Service say something when the Postal Reform Act saddled us with the $5.5 billion dollar annual payment ? How was it that it passed on a voice vote only when congress normally can’t agree on anything? And isn’t it obvious that the govt doesn’t want FERS covered postal workers to collect the social security supplement when 30 years of FERS elegibility begins in Jan 2014! ( Jan 1984-Jan 2014)

  • Paul

    It’s time to hit the streets! Let the idiots pass this crap and then we’ll trade places with them and watch them squirm like the rest of us are.

  • Ebay republican

    The greedy politicians will bankrupt the postal service, keep the billions they stole from the employee retirement funds, sell off the trademark name on eBay to highest private enterprise and then sell off countless billions of vehicles equipment and real estate! That is the reward for being the hardest working federal workers in the country!

  • Karenepoo

    Step one: charge each customer $2.00 for each COA, and then .25 cents for each letter forwarded. They do it that way in the EU.

    Step two: we have thousands of delivery vehicles and postal trailers with space for advertising. Lets charge Pizza Hut, Facebook and Revlon for “moving billboards”

    Step three: offer years and money to the CSRS employees to get off the roles. Then go down the seniority list and offer the same to craft and management. (use the pre-funding money for that)

    Step four: No more franked mail for the politicians. If they are so hell bent on shutting us down, then they can spend their money on congressional mailings, etc. Same goes for blind tapes. Medicare can foot that bill.

    Step five: increase the OIG ranks and go after the employees that are on “medical retirements, etc., but are still working elsewhere, bowling, horseback riding, skiing, traveling, etc. If they re well enough for that, they are well enough to come back to work.

    Step six: get rid of media mail and parcel post. We lose money on them. What business, other than he supermarket, sells eggs at Easter, and turkeys at Thanksgiving at a loss, so we buy everything else? Really? Why would we do that? Fed Ex and UPS don’t.

    Step seven: If we are going to process passports, then we should be allowed to have the Dept of State insert coupons, etc, with the passport when they are returned. Maybe half price on tape or labels, or BOGO for our products.

  • Robert

    This goes way beyond the USPS. Our government is inept when it comes to running our country. It’s time we reform our way of governing. The will of the majority is not even considered.

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  • Poor Richard

    Postal Service. Can’t wait til the ghost of Carlin does the monolog on this one.

  • brian

    long term plan: What’s your point? The USPS works for Congress, not the other way around. When they came out against an earlier version of PAEA, they got slapped by Susan Collins. And although PAEA mandated the $5.5 billion trust fund payments, the USPS was already being overcharged by that amount each year for CSRS pensions- so if the law hadn’t passed, the USPS still be out the same amount of money each year. And if you check your history, you’ll find that when PAEA passed, both houses of Congress and the White House were controlled by the GOP- getting a majority to agree on PAEA wasn’t a challenge.

  • rpbird

    How about another nation-wide rally? Why should the 27 Sept rallies be a one-time thing? Or how about joining forces with the Occupy movement? It’s always best to contend rather than submit.

  • Concerned

    Welcome to the 2nd American Revolution. Brought to you by the Republican Party. The people on Wall Street aren’t stupid and neither are Postal Employees. This is really all about class warfare brought on by the richest 1% in America. Call it what it is…….Treason

  • PostalGramma

    I have the same sinking feeling I had watching the 2000 election returns…. This can’t possibly be real! How can the LOSER win the election because 5 right-wing “justices” say so?? How can the Postal Service be attacked by the likes of Mr. Issa and Sen. McCain, then sold down the river by its own leader?? Who just got done negotiating a binding contract IN GOOD FAITH?? The Postal Service wants to eat its own young. Congress wants to throw senior employees out the door. Where is the President? Who’s gonna stop this insanity? I wanna go home! I’m not in Kansas anymore!

  • connietal

    If they are going to force federal employees to retire, how about retiring all of the supreme court justices – they have jobs until they die.

  • redshift186

    I’m for another rally. Let’s join forces. I saw the support there for the 90% of us that bust our asses from BT to ET five or six days a week. Everyone should know that the $5.5 billion annual prefunding payment is based on a lie, and if that lie stands we fall.
    Let’s join the service workers, et. al. on the line!

  • old rural carrier

    Maybe if Congress would pay for their postage ,we could avoid all this ,they vote once a year whether to pay their postage bill & havent paid it in over 20 years !! wonder hos ISSA voted on this ?????????

  • MrUniteUs

    Occupy Wall Street and all Americans need to contact their Congress and tell them to vote against Darrel Issa’s bill
    because it would destroy over a hundred thousand jobs.
    That would hurt the postal workers, their families and all
    of the businesses they support.

    Better to cut the requirement that Post Office and only the Post office has to fund retirees 75 years in advance. That’s 5.5 billion dollars a year.

  • Kathy S

    Long term man, you don’t need 30 years to get the supplement. once you hit 60 and 20, you can get it for 2 years until you turn 62. If someone started in 1984 and turned 60 in 2004, they received it.

  • xcarrier

    Hey Senior Man: what the hell is a “curve side” is that the boxes that are not on a straight away. Idiot!

  • IMPEACHISSA

    Karenepoo had the best plan I’ve seen so far.Senior man is a fake and a dope!All other posters are good.Yes,we need many more rallys;the general public is only fed the same lies from the teabaggers,Republicans,and the press! Impeach Ross and Issa!Those 2 SOBs are traitors!Most carriers don’t know the real story;the NALC needs to send out some info to the membership to let them know what is going on!Our local NALC needs to get involved and be proactive….the NALC needs to inform the general public as to the real truth about the Postal “crisis”.All SCABS need to join the Union and stop leeching off the rest of us…..there is no valid excuse for not joining the Union!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • IMPEACHISSA

    To all SCABS: When we are all fired and have no more benefits or retirement annuity,be sure to blame the Union and say “I told you so!”.All SCABS are a bunch of spineless,selfish complainers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • IMPEACHISSA

    The NALC needs to organize more rallys!!!!!!!!!! I will come,just as I did to the 1st rally on September 27th!!!!!!!!!!

  • Richard Willems

    Congress can destroy the USPS and then it will be taken over by a private company. Who will benefit from privatizing the USPS? The politicians, they can receive more campaign donations from the company that runs the postal service.