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?
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!