Highlights from the eNAPUS Legislative & Political Bulletin
This summer, the sultry Washington weather will be punctuated by a handful of congressional hearings that will be of interest to NAPUS Postmasters. The House hearings will be narrowly focused, while the Senate hearings will cover a broad range of postal matters. NAPUS has been invited to testify at a number of the hearings.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Postal Service and the District of Columbia will conduct a hearing on the USPS decision to consider all new routes for contract delivery. Subcommittee Chairman Danny Davis (D-IL) scheduled the hearing for July 19. Chairman Davis invited employee and management associations to testify, as well as PMG Jack Potter and the USPS Inspector General David Williams. The tentative witness list includes freshman Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ) and Rep. Lacy Clay (D-MO). Rep. Sires introduced House Resolution 282, a nonbinding resolution that urges the USPS to discontinue contract delivery services. The measure does not distinguish between currently serviced highway contract routes and the creation of new routes in established carrier territories. The absence of the distinction has caused some confusion. Nonetheless, the legislation carries the sponsorship of 222 members of the House of Representatives.
Also, Chairman Davis plans a July 26 hearing on postal facility closings and consolidations. It would appear that the Committee will focus on the USPS decision-making process in facility actions. Furthermore, the Subcommittee will likely delve into what weight the USPS assigns community impact, when evaluating closing and consolidation plans, and to what degree, if any, local communities play in the procedure.
Finally, on August 2, the Subcommittee intends to hold a hearing on the status of federal employee and retiree benefits, including health and retirement.
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services and International Security has scheduled two hearings on the implementation of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (Public Law 109-435). Subcommittee Chairman Tom Carper (D-DE) plans the hearings for July 25 and August 2. Employee unions and management associations have been invited to testify on the first day. The PMG Potter, PRC Chairman Dan Blair and mailer representatives have been invited to testify on the second day. It is expected that the 2nd day witnesses will concentrate on implementation of service standards, as required under the new law, and on contracting-out delivery services. The Senate’s legislative contribution to the issue of contracting out is S. 1457. The legislation, introduced by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), would limit contract delivery to very rural communities. The measure is pending before the Subcommittee. Currently, one-third of the Senate has cosponsored S. 1457.