Congressman Connolly’s Statement On Legislation to Dismantle the Postal Service

Sep 21 2011- Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) today delivered the following statement at the House Oversight and Government Reform Hearing on Chairman Darrel Issa’s legislation to dismantle the U.S. Postal Service.

The Postal Service is enshrined in Article 1 of the Constitution. It is the lifeblood of rural communities across America and a $1 trillion private mailing industry which employs over eight million people. The Postal Service ensures that seniors can get their prescription drugs delivered in a timely fashion and creates opportunities for small businesses that ship parcels.  Chairman Issa’s bill would sacrifice all of these valuable services the Postal Service provides in order to eviscerate the Postal Service workforce and the unions that represent some of their employees.

Chairman Issa’s bill would close thousands of Post Offices and mail processing facilities, reduce mail service to 5 days or, for rural areas, even fewer, and would eliminate mail delivery for 90% of individuals who have it delivered to their door. In order to dismantle the Postal Service he would create two new bureaucracies which would supersede both the Postal Service management and the Postal Regulatory Commission.  These multimillion dollar bureaucracies would be largely unaccountable to Congress and the American people, but would be charged by statute with ending Postal Service as we know it.

This bill would not save the Postal Service: It would destroy it.  Chairman Issa’s bill applies a combination of flagellation and bloodletting to a patient who everyone acknowledges is sick.  Instead of bleeding USPS dry, we should give it the authority and flexibility to thrive in the 21st century.  First, we should fix the ill-conceived requirement that the Postal Service prefund 100% of its anticipated retirement pension and health costs. We also should refund the $50-$75 billion pension overpayment.  These two simple steps, which would not cost a dime to taxpayers, would give the Postal Service time to make more fundamental changes to its business model.

Unfortunately, Chairman Issa’s bill does not give the Postal Service the authority it needs to reform its business model and thrive in the 21st century.  Rather than allow it to raise revenue like other businesses, the Issa bill explicitly prevents the Postal Service from engaging in commercial activity unless expressly authorized by Congress—a strange proposal from the party that claims to be against ‘picking winners and losers.’  Like Senator Collins, Senator Carper, and other thoughtful observers, I have introduced legislation and will be introducing an amendment to let the Postal Service raise revenue through use of its existing network of facilities, in partnership with the private sector.

I also will be introducing amendments to replace the unnecessary, destructive provisions in Chairman Issa’s bill which would dismantle the Postal Service, and instead relieve the Postal Service of a burden imposed by Congress—retirement prefunding.

We should not be misled by the false choice presented by Chairman Issa, between letting the Postal Service default or dismantling it through his bill.  Instead, we should pass legislation that combines short term reforms on retirement prefunding and pension overpayment with long term business model reforms.

I will be opposing the Issa bill in its current form.

source: Congressman Gerry Connolly

13 thoughts on “Congressman Connolly’s Statement On Legislation to Dismantle the Postal Service

  1. I agree with Tony. We have the worst supervisor & the moral in our plant has plummeted since our current plant manager took over.

    There needs to be a better set of checks & balances higher up the food chain to watch things like overpaying $5 million. Need new bookkeepers.

    We in Abilene are posting this article on our Facebook’s & asking our nonpostal friends to post it on theirs to try & stop the insanity.

  2. to pelicandope: Issa was elected by people who think republican politicians have the same “morals and standards” that they think they themselves have, even though every time you turn around someone from both parties is caught doing something unethical or immoral. The one good thing i have to say in defense of the republicans is that after elections they give their middle class and lower class voters the exact same treatment as the middle class and lower class democrats.

  3. postal joe is a fraud and thank god their r still some people out there fighting the right fight for the working class

  4. We can have all the money in the world, it won’t matter.. As long as the Postal Service still has GED and High School grad Stupidvisors and MDO’s and Plant Managers. We’ll constantly have this problem..

  5. Issa the only way he was voted in was with the koch brothers money. if postal joe worked for the post office he would know we havn’t had a cola raise in at least 4 yrs. were working 6 days a week since the mail count in 2009 and our insurance has been raised every year !!!! but we like our jobs, the gov. needs us because were working tax paying people . what can i say he’s the boys not right

  6. to postal joe … your name infers that you are a postal employee. if so how can you say the things you do? issas’ plan would destroy the postal service and the lives of thousands of hard working people. i’ve seen it time and time again and i still can’t understand why people like you vote against their own self interest(if you really are a postal employee). i guess you’ve forgotten that the life we enjoy today was won through great pain and sacrifice by unions and an organized labor movement. the rich keep getting richer but the middle class has seen an effective loss of income over the last 15 years. wake up and smell the coffee before it’s too late. we are all, rich people included, in this together. if our country fails and the middle class disappears, who’s gonna be left to buy the cars and boats and washing machines and computers etc. that have made them all their money

  7. This is so weak “flagellation and bloodletting” is that the best you got Connolly? It’s amazing how CommiCrats like Connolly always resort to scare tactics when they don’t have a good answer to a valid argument. Hey Connolly how hard would it be to post a link to this horrible legislation? I’m talking about YOUR amendment, Mr flagellation and bloodletting!

  8. Its Time! Every man, woman & child who is of voting age must vote these “good old boys” out of Congress for the sake of America. Congressman Issa and his cronies must not be allowed to undo what collective bargaining has done for the USA workers!
    Men like Congressman Connolly who think with a clear head must get all the support we can give them. Every worker in America should let their representatives know how they feel! The time to Act is NOW!

  9. Shameful is how I describe Congressman Issa’s reasons. His goal is not to benefit the Postal Service, nor is it to benefit the people of the US. Perhaps, his goal is more prudently camouflaged for personal interests that perhaps the Ethics Committee should be checking into.

    The people of California would do the country a great service if they did not allow this person to continue representing them in Congress. For anyone to consider modifying any action of the government that’s sole purpose is to act and treat everyone in the country universally and fairly regardless of economic status, and whose sole purpose is to put the Bill of Rights words into action by servicing everyone, well that person’s desire to change anything should be considered treasonous,

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