How Congress Plans to Pass USPS Reform in the Lame Duck

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The Hill has reported that leaders of the Senate Homeland Security Committee and the House Government Oversight Committee are currently working on a compromise Postal reform bill that could pass in the lame duck session.  Given the limited time available in the lame duck session, Congress does not have the time to have the House of Representatives pass some version of H.R. 2309 and then negotiate the differences with S. 1789 in a Conference Committee.  Therefore the leadership of the House Oversight and Government Reform and the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee are working to short cut the normal legislative process. If the negotiations are successful the next steps in [...] Read more »

House Schedule Ensures At Least One USPS Default This Year

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House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor has released the schedule for the last week the House of Representative is in session prior to the August recess. The schedule continues to ignore the need to take actions that would deal with the upcoming defaults by the Postal Service of payments to the Retiree Health Benefit Fund as required under the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. Instead the schedule includes votes on four bills associated with commemorative coins. Most other legislation with votes scheduled are either non-controversial or on the schedule as they allow Republican members of Congress to focus press attention on issues that they believe will help either all members of [...] Read more »

Politics Trumps Policy : Surprised?

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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 »

USPS Reform Through the Eyes of Cats and Dogs

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As anyone on the Internet knows, most of the videos on YouTube are videos of cats or dogs doing something funny.   Well Paula Martin, in a comment on this blog, provided links to four videos that uses cats and dogs to promote her views on postal reform and actions Congress has taken.   I think she has done as good a job here making her points as many stakeholders have done promoting their opinions on postal reform with significantly larger budgets.   Regardless of your views on S. 1789, the 21st Century Postal Act, or H.R. 2309, the Postal Reform Act, I urge you to watch these videos and appreciate her creativity.   Tweet Read more »

USPS Reform Appears Pushed Back At Least Another Week

The Majority Leader of the House of Representatives has released the calendar for the week of July 9th and H.R. 2309, the Postal Reform Act, is not on the agenda.    As noted previously, the next step for H.R.2309 will come when the House Committee on Rules will meet to consider under what rules debate will occur on the floor and may determine which amendments the House will consider when debating the bill.   It is possible that the Rules committee could meet early this week to allow consideration of H.R. 2309 on what appears to be a vote free day on Wednesday, July 11th.  However, that meeting is unlikely to be held [...] Read more »

USPS Reform Appears Headed to House Floor on July 10

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In repsonse to a question on Twitter, Congressman Dennis Ross has confirmed that H.R. 2309, the Postal Reform Act, will reach the House floor on July 10, 2012. — Dennis Ross (@RepDennisRoss) June 30, 2012 After this post was published, Congressman Ross tweeted that the July 10th date could slip. @CEP_Observer rough estimate. Nothing is set in stone. — Dennis Ross (@RepDennisRoss) June 30, 2012  If the timing does slip, H.R. 2309 will have to wait until at least July 12th as the House will be debating another vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act on July 11. Postal Stakeholders should understand that in addition to the legislative language passed [...] Read more »

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

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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 »

A Long Term Vision for the USPS

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Over the past week, the Postal Service announced significant changes in its business focus and management structure that could have significant impact on its ability to both serve customer needs and improve its financial position. The changes that the Postal Service is making suggests a vision for the Postal Service that goes beyond traditional postal services could include many non-traditional ways of meeting needs of its communication and parcel delivery customers. Competing Visions for the Future of the U.S. Postal Service The Postal Service’s vision for the future of a national postal operator in the United States is not the only one competing for attention. Congress has two distinct visions [...] Read more »

Postal Service’s New Plan for Rural Post Offices Coming Today

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H.R. 2309 has been on a slow track in the House of Representatives since the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved the bill on January 17, 2012.  It took the House Rules committee two months until it marked up provisions under its jurisdiction on March 29.   Since then there has been no word about floor action even with the end of the moratorium on facility closures approaching. Senate Votes Shows That Future of Rural Service Will Determine Future of Postal Reform In the Senate, the coalition that passed S. 1789, the 21st Century Act of 2012 represented a coalition of Democrats and mostly rural-state Republicans.  In particular, all Republican Senators from Alaska, Arkansas, [...] Read more »

It’s Time for Postal Unions to Find New Owners for the USPS

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In a column in the April 29, 2012 Washington Post, Steven Pearlstein discusses how American Airline unions may have turned the tables on American Airline management’s plans to restructure the airline. American management’s plan focused on cutting costs, and in particular labor costs. Right now it appears that management is unlikely to implement their plan as American’s three largest unions have come to an agreement with US Airways that will involve fewer cost cuts and will focus instead on marketing synergies between the networks of US Airways and American Airlines in a way that will expand the merged airline’s ability to compete for business customers with United and Delta Airlines, [...] Read more »