Senator Carper and Representative Issa Issue Joint Statement Pledging The’ll Work Together on Postal Reform


On the first day of the 113th Congress Senator Tom Carper and Representative Darrel Issa issed a joint statement indicating their willingness to work together on postal reform. “The Postal Service has a presence in every community in our nation.  Since its establishment, we’ve taken it for granted that our mail would arrive and that important business and personal correspondence would reach its destination. In addition, businesses large and small have come to rely on the mail to reach new customers and communicate effectively with existing customers. Although the 112th Congress did not come to a consensus around a package of reforms that can update the Postal Service’s network and [...] Read more »

The House Fiscal Cliff Vote and Postal Reform


Last night the House of Representatives voted 257-167 voted to approve legislation that prevented the United States from going over the fiscal cliff.   While the substance of the legislation approved had nothing to do with the Postal Service, the vote itself illustrated why postal reform died in the 112th Congress. The 257 yea votes included 172 Democrats and 85 Republicans.    The list of Republicans that voted for the deal to avoid the fiscal cliff includes many Republicans that have either expressed opposition to H.R. 2309, the approach promoted by Congressmen Darrell Issa and Dennis Ross or expressed support for the approaches similar to what passed in the Senate.  So [...] Read more »

Lieberman and Issa Talking Compromise on Postal Reform

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Alan Ota, a senior writer for CQ Roll Call has reported on twitter that Senator Joseph Lieberman has offered a compromise on Postal reform to get the legislative process moving again.  As Alan Ota’s tweet indicates, Lieberman is willing to give up preservation of 6-day delivery for letters and flats in negotiating a postal reform bill with Congressman Darell Issa. Eliminating 6-day mail delivery has never been popular in Congress and has generated significant opposition from both Republicans and Democrats.  For  Senator Lieberman’s offer to be accepted by Congress, the most recent financial report from the Postal Service would have to change the opinions of a sufficient number of Senators and Representatives to allow [...] Read more »

Politics Trumps Policy : Surprised?


The Hill  has reported that House Republican campaign strategy drove H.R. 2309, the Postal Reform Act, off the legislative track for action prior to the August recess. The delay would prioritize election-year messaging votes over actions to rescue the Postal Service, which is currently losing $25 million a day and is on track to bleed billions of dollars again this fiscal year. More recent reporting has indicated that political considerations may have possibly killed any chance that the House of Representatives will act on postal reform at all in this session of Congress. What will House Do Instead? Right now the House schedule appears to want to only deal with [...] Read more »

House Schedule This Week Includesd Three USPS Bills (To Name Post Offices)


This week’s House of Representatives schedule included three bills that were considered on Tuesday that named Post Offices. As noted by others, naming Pot Offices is the most common legislative activity in the current Congress. The schedule did not have any specific items for consideration on Wednesday, June 27th or Thursday, June 28th which would indicates that there would have been floor time to debate USPS reform this week if the bill’s sponsors wanted to move the legislation forward this week. However, Chairman Darrell Issa, who is one of the two sponsors of H.R. 2309, appears to have bumped postal reform legislation down on his list of priorities as he continues [...] Read more »

Gene DelPolito on the Status of Postal Reform Bills

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One of the biggest concerns of readers of this blog is  the long term prospects for the Postal Service.    This and the next few Posts contain an interview with Gene Del Polito, the President of the Association for Postal Commerce and his opinions on: the current status of postal reform bill approved by the responsible committees in the House of Representatives and Senate; potential legislative options other than those currently introduced to date; impact of Congress not acting on decisions of mailers and parcel shippers to use the Postal Service; labor-management relations; problems facing flat-shaped mailers government provided postal services; mail box monopoly; a U.S. approach to privatization; and other topics. [...] Read more »

Chairman Darell Issa Says USPS is Committee’s Priority; USPS Should Cut 260,000 Employees

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In a broadcast interview on CNBC’s Squawkbox, Chairman Darell Issa, Ranking Majority Member Elijah Cummings and Representative John Tierney discussed the need for reform legislation in the second session of the 112th Congress.   The headline that CNBC reported is Chairman Issa’s claim that the Postal Service has 260,000 too many employees, a claim that I am sure Chairman Issa would have to admit is based on an overstatement of the Postal Service’s current head count.  Even if you adjust the employee count reduction to reflect current head counts, Chairman Issa still suggests that the Postal Service needs to cut 174,000 employees. [A conversation with a member of the House Oversight and [...] Read more »

House Passage of HR 2309 Likely in 2012


In his incendiary tweets last week, Chairman Darrell Issa laid out a marker on postal reform. He will not step back from championing H.R. 2309, the Postal Reform Act of 2011, which faces some challenges in the House and no future in the Senate. Why is he being stubborn? Chairman Issa knows that his ability to influence the future of postal reform requires that he ensure that he can hold a majority of the Republican caucus behind his approach. From the beginning, he and Congressman Dennis Ross have used language supporting their bills that hit the hot-button Republican talking points. In particular, these talking points include opposition to: government spending, [...] Read more »

The Political Impact of Tweets from Representatives Issa and Ross

In a series of tweets today (see below), House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa repeated the assertion that Postmaster Pat Donahoe “folded like a cheap suit” when he “caved to political pressure just as it was making long-overdue rightsizing decisions.” This follows Representative Dennis Ross’s suggestion that the Postmaster General may need to be replaced. As Dead Tree Edition, the blog and this blog have all shown, their statements reflect politics and not policy. Even with “caving to political pressure,” the Postal Service’s network realignment would happen a year or two earlier than it would if the President signed the House bill today. So why would [...] Read more »

Mailers Now Facing Large Rate Increase

By rejecting the Postal Service’s position that its retirement obligations are overstated, the Government Accountability Office has forced the Postal Service to find an additional $5, 5 billion in cuts or $5.5 billion in revenue. As the Postal Service’s financial plan already includes cuts in service quality, post offices, and employee benefits as well as the layoffs of 120,000 employees, its only option is raising revenue. Raising $5.5 billion will require Postal Service to increase rates sufficiently to increase total revenue by $5.5 billion. This is an 8.4% increase in revenue over current levels. Given that rate increases result in lower mail volumes, the total increase in rates would have [...] Read more »