The House Fiscal Cliff Vote and Postal Reform

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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 »

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 »

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 »

Without Congressional Action, the Sun Will Not Come Out Tomorrow for the Postal Service

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The clock turned and the Postal Service went into default and as far as mailers and employees are concerned little changed. The Postal Service is still implementing its network optimization imitative along the lines allowed by S.1789. Facility closures are occurring at the pace announced over a month ago. Employees that accepted early retirement incentives are leaving Postal Service employment as scheduled. What default did not help are the systemic capital problems of the Postal Service: The Postal Service IT systems still do not have redundant systems that would allow system upgrades without disturbing business relationships with customers or suppliers. The Postal Service vehicle fleet continues to get older. Operating [...] 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 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 »

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 »

Separation Incentives for Postmasters and Other Postal Employees

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This week the Postal Service announced an early retirement incentives for Postmasters as part of its restructuring of rural retail service. This announcement will likely be the first of a set of early retirement incentive announcements that the Postal Service that the Postal Service makes in the next few weeks as it follows through with its plans to restructure First Class mail service standards and plant operating plans. Expected Announcements of Operating Changes and Facility Closures The Postal Service will announce on Thursday, May 17th, its plans for operating plan changes and facility closures that will occur this summer. The Federal Times has reported that in a press conference held [...] 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 »