NAPS Legislative Update: What to Expect from the New Congress?

NAPS Leg/Reg Update – Jan. 5, 2011

The 112th Congress Convenes. The new Congress convenes today. All Members of the House (including 94 House freshmen) and the Senate (including 16 new Senators) will be sworn in and legislative work will begin.

The House will elect John Boehner (R-OH) as Speaker and adopt procedural rules governing its business. Changes in the House rules are expected to pave the way for potential cuts in government funding and deficit reduction efforts.

All pending legislation that remained at the end of the last Congress, which adjourned on December 22, will have to be re-introduced in the new Congress for consideration.  Bill numbers will change when legislation is re-introduced.

What to Expect from the New Congress? With the takeover of the House of Representatives as a result of the November elections, the GOP has set its sights on reducing the size of government and cutting the costs of government. Making those ambitious changes happen will be easier said than done.  Democrats still control the Senate, creating the prospect for even more divisive, stalemated government in the months ahead.

Regardless, postal and federal employees will be in the cross-hairs of proposed budget cuts — trimming jobs and rolling back retirement and health benefits. Look for more information from NAPS on these issues in the days ahead and what you can do.

In addition, postal reform will advance to center stage once again, with potential major changes for the Postal Service, given its financial posture and an out-of-date business model. (The Washington Post identified postal reform as #4 among the ten things to watch across government in 2011.)

Near the end of the last Congress, two postal reform bills were introduced in the Senate that are expected to be reintroduced for consideration in the new Congress. The bills were introduced by Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME). A postal reform bill is likely to be introduced in the House as well. These bills deal with a host of issues, including reductions in delivery days, post office and facility closures, and new product and pricing flexibility.

A Timely and Significant LTS. These changes and developments mean that the upcoming NAPS Legislative Seminar in Washington, D.C., set for March 20-23, will be a most important event.  Foremost, it will be an opportunity to educate Congress – and new Congressional staff — on what’s at stake for the Postal Service and how the Postal Service operates.

Register now for the LTS.  And make your reservation at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.

For LTS online registration, click here.

For a hardcopy LTS registration form to mail-in, click here.

For making your Omni Shoreham reservations, click here.

Look for further LTS updates about speakers and other exciting program features.

Bruce Moyer
NAPS Legislative Counsel