Issa postal bill in the wings?


NAPS Leg/Reg Update – June 21, 2011

Is Your Congressman on HR 1351? There are 150 Members of the House ofRepresentatives who have co-sponsored HR 1351, the critical bill introduced by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) that fixes USPS overpayments for CSRS and FERS pension obligations and realigns USPS prefunding health benefit payments for future retirees. This is the most important postal legislation before Congress. NAPS strongly supports it. NAPS members need to express their support for it to Congress.

NAPS needs to gain the support of many more House lawmakers for this bill. It will do that by more NAPS members asking their House lawmakers to cosponsor HR 1351.

Has your House Member cosponsored HR 1351?

Click here for a list of House Members who have cosponsored HR 1351.

Click here for a list of House Members who have not cosponsored HR 1351.

Click here to send a message to your House Member to urge his or her cosponsorship of HR 1351.

Issa Bill in the Wings …
Meanwhile, three of the four members of the Congressional postal oversight quartet (Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-E)) each have crafted and introduced postal bills … with Congressman Darrel Issa (R-CA) still not yet unveiling his bill. That could change soon. Issa’s staff says he is preparing to introduce a “comprehensive” bill to reform the Postal Service, meaning another bill as complicated and fraught with difficulty as the Carper and Collins bills offered in the Senate.

Issa’s bill is likely to give the PMG greater latitude to close post offices and reduce delivery days, but not do much short-term to address the USPS money problems, other than possibly raise the $15B debt ceiling (which is the last thing the Postal Service needs to do). Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL), chairman of the postal oversight subcommittee, is likely to be a primary cosponsor of the Issa bill. It took twelve years to enact Postal Reform I in 2006, and it will require more time than between now and September 30, the end of the fiscal year, to create another set of reform measures for the Postal Service.

What is more certain, on a different level … is that some combination of cuts in federal and postal employee/retiree pension and/or health benefits, along with caps on workforce growth, are likely to be
included in the agreement that emerges from the debt ceiling negotiations at Blair House moderated by Vice President Joe Biden.

An unprecedented number of legislative proposals have already been introduced in Congress for cutting federal pensions and health benefits, or increasing employee contributions – similar to or beyond the cuts in pay, benefits and workforce recommendations of the President’s debt commission. NAPS strongly opposes these cuts.

Two Money Battles You Need to Follow …. It’s hard to imagine a sequel to a battle yet fought. But the upcoming three-way showdown between the President, House Republicans and Senate Democrats over the debt ceiling may be only the first “ceiling” battle as we head into the fall. Ceiling Battle II will be over the postal debt ceiling and the solvency of the Postal Service. Republicans will call it Postal Service bankruptcy and the political consequences of the controversy could be big. If debt ceiling brinksmanship continues past August 2, with Republicans and Democrats agreeing initially to only a small increase in the debt ceiling that temporarily postpones agreement on bigger cuts, the money issues surrounding Postal Service could fall into the larger debate over the nation’s debt and solvency. For more details, read my column in the upcoming July issue of the Postal Supervisor:

Bruce Moyer
NAPS Legislative Counsel

Two Money Battles You Need to Follow

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