Issa’s latest bill would let USPS mandate centralized delivery, allow anyone to put stuff in your mailbox

110808_darrell_issa_605_apCongressman Darrell Issa, the self-appointed “watchdog” of the US Postal Service, has introduced yet another “reform” proposal. So far, none of Issa’s proposals have gotten much support, even from his own party- whether or not this one does remains to be seen.

Issa is obviously desperate to get someone, anyone, to back him. How desperate? He’s dropped the most outrageous provisions of his earlier bills, like the one that would have laid off any postal worker eligible for retirement, and he’s come up with what I’m sure he considers a master stroke- he claims his bill is actually Barack Obama’s idea.

Seriously.

Don’t believe me? According to the draft version, the bill’s title is “The Administration’s Postal Reform Act of 2014”. (You can’t make this stuff up!) Presumably he will present the bill as an incredibly clever “gotcha” moment that will provide him with some especially snide remarks to make at his next show trial committee hearing.

So what’s actually in “The Administration”‘s bill? A couple of items that have appeared in the administration’s budget proposals (but which have never actually been introduced as legislation), like allowing five day delivery, and some that the administration has expressed some support for, like reducing the PAEA trust fund mandate. But the items that will no doubt attract the most attention are ones that Issa himself admits were never proposed by “the Administration”:

  • The bill would allow the USPS to drop Saturday mail delivery, but would also allow “periodicals, newspapers and unstamped mail to be placed in mailboxes on days when the Postal Service does not provide mail delivery service“.
  • Requires the Postal Service to convert residential addresses from door delivery to curbside or centralized delivery on a voluntary basis where possible and authorizes the Postal Service to require such conversions in areas the Postal Service “deems appropriate.”
  • Permits the Postal Service to create a “Legacy Door Delivery Service” that allows residents to pay a fee to continue to receive door delivery if their addresses have been identified for conversion to curbside or centralized delivery.

If Darrell really wanted to pass a postal reform bill, he could do it tomorrow. Allowing the USPS to eventually drop Saturday delivery would be fought by postal workers, but would probably pass, as would reducing the PAEA mandate, allowing centralized delivery for new developments, etc. But if we’ve learned anything over the last couple of years, it’s that Darrell and his party aren’t really interested in proposing legislation that can pass both houses and be signed into law by the President.

So instead of a comprehensive postal reform package, we’ll continue to get bills like this one, designed not to solve problems, but to score points. Even minimal band-aid legislation will probably only become possible if the USPS actually approaches a cash flow crisis that endangers its ability to pay its employees and suppliers. At that point, Speaker Boehner might, as he has on rare occasions in the past, decide it’s better to cut his losses and allow legislation to reach the floor that could pass with the support of the Democrats and a minority of moderate Republicans. You know, by majority vote- the way we were told our Government worked back in Civics class- what a concept!

  • Not a happy camper about this

    I do not want ANYONE in my mailbox except my mail carrier…a few yrs ago some kids were butting flyers in the mail boxes and taking out credit cards ans boxes checks. They were used and what they didnt use they threw in a river. I want to KNOW WHO is in my mailbox while I am at work.

  • anonymous

    Well talking about his proposal laying off postal worker eligible for retirement, How about he got the first of the row? Then would he allow people to put mails in his box? Idiot.

    • nun to bright

      We all know Issa is totally far out in the right field. Why do we take him seriously ?
      Don’t we have age discrimination laws in this country ?

  • tewdeeq

    I am sick and tired of having all of that extra crap in my mailbox. It takes time look through and shred all of that &#!t. I am simply thinking of putting it back into the slots at the Post Office.

    • Paul

      Don’t blame the Post Office, call, email or mail the people that send the stuff to you and tell them to stop. The Post Office delivers it because it is paid by those companies to deliver it.

      • retired too

        let’s see, it cost you nothing to receive mail and you get all worked up about looking through it to see what to throw away? we have much bigger things to worry about

        • tewdeeq

          They keep wanting me to buy a bigger ox, more expense to up with all of this trash in my box. I do have better thing to do with MY time.

  • OGNSHG

    This bill should be burned the same way Issa burned down his failing business and collected on the insurance policy. What a crock! Issa would not propose meaningful postal legislation because he wants the postal service to fail. That way his Wall Street buds buy a piece of public service ans sell . He’s done much of nothing as Oversight watchdick. Issa is like Don Quixote attacking mysterious windmills, or witches, or … something.

  • Nixie

    I commend Mr. Issa for his concern for the future of the Postal Service. He’s a true patriot!

    • 5 day is the wrong way

      I hope you are being sarcastic. If not, then you are just as bad as Issa

      • nixie

        yep, I can’t stand the puss pimple!

  • nalc1061

    Issa is the richest person in Congress and he says postal workers make too much money

  • surprise!

    If the Postal Service is going to share mail boxes with others, are the others going to share the Postal Services extra costs to deliver mail?

    This would include Issa’s franking privilege. Delivering mail in Alaska below cost. Delivering in less profitable Rural Areas. The Census mailings. Political mail sent at low prices but getting better than first class service. among other things.

    Leveling the playing field means leveling the playing field for every body.

  • SWEETSWOO

    It is all garbage– They want to break up the USPS– as ISSA has an ALEC agenda. The USPS does not take in TAX REVENUES as they support with their own products— Do not be fooled by politicians that are supposed to work for ALL but only work for the ones lining their pockets. WE all are ISSA’s employer– we tell him what to do– lets see– this is a no brainer, ISSA- Stop the RETIREMENT prefund no one else is forced to pay and stop milking the retirement fund for your special interest projects— how does that sound?