WASHINGTON- Today the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, the U.S. Postal Service, and Labor Policy reported out on a 8-5 vote HR 2309, the Issa-Ross Postal Reform Act of 2011, with changes that bring the total mandatory minimum savings for USPS in the bill to $10.7 billion annually. The bill will be heard at a full committee markup before heading to the floor.
The bill was introduced in June by Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Subcommittee Chairman Dennis Ross, R-Fla. The bill is the only postal reform legislation introduced this Congress that would restore the postal service to solvency and prevent a multi-billion dollar taxpayer funded bailout.
“Getting to a profitable situation with the core business is our requirement, and that is all I am dedicated to,” Issa said.
“The status quo for the Postal Service is no longer sustainable and reform is urgently needed,” said Ross, who chaired the markup. “I thank my colleagues for being here today and look forward to working with them to ensure postal services are available to all Americans for the next 200 years.”
The legislation moves forward several cost-cutting structural reforms that would allow the postal service to right-size operations and reduce workforce cost. Seven amendments designed to eliminate reforms in the legislation or change its intent were defeated.
Highlights of the Issa/Ross Postal Reform Act according to Congressman Darrell Issa
- No Taxpayer Bailouts: plan delivers an efficient, effective Postal Service without the thinly-veiled taxpayer bailout proposed by other bills.
- Savings through Flexible Delivery: the Postal Reform Act saves an estimated $3 billion a year by giving the Postal Service the option of eliminating Saturday delivery.
- Pay the Real Delivery Cost: phases out expensive loopholes and special deals that force the Postal Service to actually charge certain customers less than the true cost of delivery.
- Ending Special Treatment for Political Parties: our plan eliminates the cut-rate prices now benefiting national and state political committees of all stripes.
- A Team Approach: a team of postal experts will target and eliminate the expensive excess the Postal Service doesn’t need. In just a year, the Commission on Postal Reorganization will focus on redundant post offices – saving at least $1 billion a year. Year two will focus on excess mail processing – saving at least $1 billion per year – and the 30% of management facilities without much to manage.
- Pitching in for Health & Life Insurance: mandates that postal workers pay at least the same health and life insurance premiums federal workers do.
- Constant Accountability: when the Postal Service fails to pay its bills for more than 30 days, an independent watchdog is empowered to cut costs much like a bankruptcy judge when corporation can’t pay its bills – this includes addressing expensive labor agreements. And we don’t ask taxpayers to foot the bill: the watchdog can borrow up to $10 billion with postal facilities as collateral.
- New Revenue: even though the Postal Service is supposed to act like a private business, it can’t make money from selling advertisements. The Issa-Ross Postal Reform Act allows USPS to sell advertising space on vehicles and facilities, as long as the ads respect the Postal Service’s integrity.
- Fair Pay: right now, the law says “compensation” means only a postal worker’s paycheck. Our plan eliminates this fuzzy math so that compensation means the same thing it does everywhere else: pay and benefits.
- Rightsize Non-Profit Discounts: today, non-profit organizations enjoy a 40% advertising discount from the Postal Service. The Postal Reform Act gradually reduces this discount by 5% a year until it reaches 10%.
source: Oversight & Government Reform