Senator McCain Introduces Companion Legislation To Issa-Ross Postal Reform Bill

Washington, D.C. ­– U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today introduced the Postal Reform Act of 2011, a bill to restore the financial health and long-term viability of the United States Postal Service.  The Postal Service is expected to end this fiscal year with a $10 billion loss, and by its own estimates faces a shortfall of up to $238 billion by 2020.  At the end of this month, the Postal Service will not be able to make a required $5.5 billion payment to fund future retirees’ health benefits.  This legislation is needed to ensure that future generations of Americans will have a viable Postal Service.  This bill is the Senate companion to the legislation introduced by Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) in the U.S. House of Representatives this summer.

Senator McCain submitted the following statement for the record upon introducing the Postal Reform Act of 2011:

“Mr. President, today I am introducing the Postal Reform Act of 2011, which will restore the financial health and long-term viability of the United States Postal Service.  This bill is the companion to the legislation that Representative Darrell Issa introduced in the House of Representatives in June of this year.  I thank Representative Issa for his leadership on this important issue.

“According to their own estimates, by 2020 the Postal Service expects to face a shortfall of up to $238 billion.  Even with dramatic cost savings of $12 billion and workforce reduction of 110,000 postal employees in the past four years, the Postal Service is expected to end this fiscal year with a $10 billion loss.

“First-Class mail, which makes up more than half of Postal Service revenues, continues to fall at alarming rates and shows no signs of ever recovering.  This, combined with 80 percent labor costs and labor contracts that contain ‘no-layoff’ clauses, points to the fact that the Postal Service is broken.

“Congress can no longer enact temporary fixes that avert financial crisis for only a brief period.  Congress, the Postal Service, labor unions, and the mailing community must be willing to lay everything on the table and make hard choices now to save the Postal Service for the future.  I believe the Postal Reform Act of 2011 will do just that.

“Two key provisions in this bill alone would save the Postal Service billions of dollars annually.  First, the bill would create a Postal Service Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority, which is modeled after the District of Columbia control board Congress created to address the fiscal crises the city was facing in the mid-1990s.  This Authority, triggered by a Postal Service default on its federal obligations, would replace the Postal Board of Governors with mandates to cut costs, and put the Postal Service back on a path to financial solvency.

“The second key provision would create a Commission on Postal Reorganization that would use a BRAC-like process to consolidate and close post offices and mail processing facilities.  According to the Postal Service, the ‘current mail processing network has a capacity of over 250 billion pieces of mail per year when mail volume is now 160 billion pieces of mail.  Right-sizing the network is vital to the future of the Postal Service and its customers.’  Congress, however, continues to put up political road blocks that prevent these closings and consolidations.  This bill will take politics out of the process and allow the Postal Service to right-size its operations.

“Other provisions in the bill would require arbitrators to take into account the financial health of the Postal Service if labor contracts move to arbitration.  It would also exempt the Postal Service from the Davis-Bacon Act, the Service Contract Act, and other wage rules that increase contracting costs.

“Additionally, there are certain types of mail upon which the Postal Service routinely loses money.  This bill would require that the vendors responsible for this mail be responsible for covering their costs.  In Fiscal Year 2010, the Postal Service lost nearly $1.7 billion on these type of ‘underwater’ postal products that failed to cover their costs.  For example, the Periodicals class of mail, which includes newspapers and magazines, has not covered its costs for 14 consecutive years, generating total losses of $4.3 billion over that period.

“The bill also contains common sense language that would mandate that Postal Service employees pay the same health and life insurance premium percentage as other federal workers.  This is estimated to save the Postal Service $700 million annually.

“Finally, this bill will allow the Postal Service to move to 5-day delivery, at a savings of anywhere from $1.7 to $3.1 billion annually.

“We can no longer support temporary fixes to the Postal Service.  If we continue to act in this irresponsible way, the American taxpayer will be the one that ultimately suffers in the form of higher postage prices and taxpayer bailouts.  We must make hard choices now so future generations of Americans will have a viable Postal Service.”

45 thoughts on “Senator McCain Introduces Companion Legislation To Issa-Ross Postal Reform Bill

  1. I believe we are working for the rich Americans, who make the laws to protect their own ass, and they don’t care about the working stiff. MCCain proposes we pay the same health benefits that all fed workers pay. My mother is on a fix income and pays $300 a month while the governor pays $30. a month. A senator works one day, and resigns and recieves $178,000 a year as a pension for the rest of his life. Why arn’t you trying to fix that.
    Fix the problem with the pre-funding, not reduce our wages, we work hard for the little we make why you have someone wiping your ass. I have 38 years in the PO and I’m not ready to retire, and I will not be forced or you can pay my bills.

  2. I have worked for the postal service for going on 32 years and was born an American almost 65 years ago. I have seen our country going down the wrong road for many years now. We must accept some of the responsibility for this mess we are in because we as Americans have allowed the elected officials on all levels to set their own agenda. Each state should have control of the elected officials pay and benefits through a yearly review of how they have performed their respective duties for the people of the state they represent. What ever hapened to common sense?
    As to the postal service… This business is no diferent than any other business in America. We have allowed the wrong people to take the reins. We are now going to have to fix something that should be fixed by common sense. But politics is once again going to make this process impossible. As in any business, when it begins to loose income it needs to make changes in order to survive. What the politicans and postal executives and management are doing is what they always have done—- wait for the problem to become large and then panic. We who work the mail every day see the problems are real. We know that their needs to be an ammount of downsizing in order to survive as a viable business. If everyone will take a little time out and stop pushing the panic button, these problems will be resolved.
    Issa and McCain and the others who want to destroy the postal service to save it need to get out of the way and allow cooler heads to begin the process of restoring the postal service to a functioning business again. Yes, their will be some decisions that even I will not agree with. However, the idea of throwing out all of the senior people who have spent a lifetime working for any business goes against everything that has helped make America a stand out country as far as workers go. My grandfather was born in 1896 and helped to bring union protection to Americas workers. That our elected officials have come up with such an anti American idea is something that should make them ashamed and anger every American worker no matter the job he or she has. America is in a state of flux that I cannot see an easy fix for. But we should not loose or way and allow changes to our basic beliefs that will, in the long run harm every worker present and future.

  3. I hadn’t heard of McCain since the election. I thought he had passed away!
    Let me see he would save the Post Office up to 3 billion a year. Hey STUPID where’s the other 5.5 billion going to come from., maybe Issa’s wife could cover with the monies she had at Goldman Saches?

  4. Let’s start calling the 5.5 billion that Congress taxes the PO what it is! The GW Bush tax on the Postal Service. Bail that out! Postal Service failing because of the BUSH Postal Service Tax!

  5. The Democratic majority had a full plate juggling two wars. The postal service was not a noticeable problem two years ago. There was no Donahoe asking to lay off thousands of workers. We just signed a contract five months ago. If there was such a budget problem why wasn’t it addressed then? Why didn’t he ask for layoffs then.

    How do you reasonably make a labor agreement and turn around and seek to nullify it. He knew the pre-funding was due in September. Put the blame where is is due on poor postal management.

  6. It’s real shame that when the democrat’s had a veto proof majority in the house and senate and a democrat president they did nothing for 2 years to fix the usps like repealing that prefunding law….. Oh, but they did have time to jam healthcare down our throats.

  7. We all can obviously see how the tables are turning with our politicians. The very people we put into office to protect our interests and keep things fair are, turning our very rights against us. Unions were formed to protect those us from hideous working conditions and slavery.

    Now the fact the we as unionized, working Americans, are entitled to have decent wages and benefits. Unions are not the problem. It’s the long standing government waste, corruption and mishandling of our tax dollars. If we are owed an overpayment give us our money back.

    The very fact that their intention to “layoff those postal employees eligible to retire” first is a blatant act of age discrimination and a subtle form of terrorism. How can you honestly think you can strip away all the benefits people have worked all their lives for. It’s insanity, and I’m sure any hard working veteran did not go to war to come back and live with this kind of b******t.

  8. Randell are you one of those new AWPU workers that voted for that BS of a contract giving up the cola for a year while everything in the world goes up in cost?

    I wonder if the other unions members fell for this same BS from their union officials.

    Bring back the 6 yrs and under layoff clause so we sing happy trails to alot of these new dumb asses emplyees that dont respect what we all have worked for all these years.

  9. I wud hav to agree with som of Issa’s proposals! It’s only fair that the senior most eligible mployees who hav atleast 25+ years who r 55 n older, shud be forced out! OF COURSE DIS NCLUDES “MANAGEMENT” TOO! Management salaries r $65,000 +….. Majority of clerks, carriers n mailhandlers r makin $50,000 + per year. Nstead of eliminating the mployees who havnt even reached dose years yet! WAKE UP POSTAL MPLOYEES IT’S TIME FOR A CHANGE!


  11. Issa or Assa, better watch out, Boner and the house might lose seats, no one says just kick out the eligible employees without a retirement and severance, that is anarchy!, do we hit the streets, how about the “Arab Spring”, what about a Postal Employees Spring, we have to do something now, this has hit the bottom,no way out?, not good, take away Issa/ Assa and McCain’s retirement and PMG Dungahoe!, they would be crying foul and pass a law for themselves like they usally do, Assa/ Issa was a car thief, send him and rat McCain ( some war hero) to Palestine for the next Arab spring !.

  12. We have 215 co-sponsors. We only need 3 more to get 1351 to the floor!! We can defeat Issi and his campaign to close the PO if the Dem leadership would get involved. Screw Issi and McCain

  13. Why hasn’t her highness Nancy Pelosi and her jester Steny Hoyer signed onto H.R. 1351? Why is the head of the BCC not signed on. The top Democratic leadership has not signed on to support us. Why not??? Are they all talk and no action? Think about it.

  14. I’m about 1 1/2 years from retirement and my P&DC is on the AMP list and I have no illusions about its survival. I might make it out in time, but my heart goes out to all those who will be affected by the coming tsunami of changes. I just wish the right wingers and republicans who are my colleagues would finally face reality and see the consequences of what their support for the republicans has wrought. The PRC is staffed with 3 Bush appointees (all republican of course) and one appointee by Clinton who is the only dissenting vote against this rubber stamp committee which will give Issa everything he wants. Obama’s nominee, of course, has been held up from being seated by the republicans in congress. Reap what you sow right wingers who work for the USPS. If you believe in the Laissez Faire economics your party so righteously espouses, you shouldn’t be working for the government anyway. Get a private sector job. Of course blame Obama for everything wrong in your life, but everything you have been blessed to have in your salary, benefits, health care, FMLA, workers’ compensation and union protection has come from LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC POLICIES!!!!! Thanks for helping sink us.

  15. The party over you cry babies. The postal service is way overdue for change. Did you think it would last forever ….. Really! Really…..lmao, the fat lady is singing.

  16. Somethings wrong with the Post Office and she needs to be fixed. Go slow more Dough isn’t going to do it anymore. You people thinking you are going to get a buyout are insane. There is no money for that. So, you worked for the Post office for 35 years and managed to save nothing for retirement, real smart. You all laughed at the new hires thinking they would be layed off first. Now who’s laughing, they are coming for you people who made this mess with your lazy union mentality. It’s not all your fault, they will get management too, trust me.

  17. I haven’t heard as much talk in the streets and bars lately about class warfare and revolution since the Vietnam war!The politicians better wake up and do the right thing because the USA is not immune to a so called “Mid East Spring”They will go the way of Qaddafi and Mubarack and that is the truth.Most of my friends like I are veterans and they are all saying the same thing.Even NYC Mayor Bloomberg said it!I Remember the revolutionary war started in taverns because of taxation without representation and right now the common people are not being represented!On the other extreme a small corporal in Munich Germany started something in a beer hall and we all know how that turned out!Be fair leaders,respect the equality of the law for all don’t be like the French and say “Let them eat cake”!That had heads rolling……..literaly!

  18. Fuck you Mccain!!! I guess you didn’t read Issa/Ross bill… It states that the postal employees with the age and years in service will leave first.. Well i guess that will be you as well??? You have the age ( aren’t you in your 70’s ) and years of service…. My bad!! Congress is exempt from the same laws as other federal employees are, rite??? You Congress idiots are above everyone… Why don’t you worry about securing the fuckin Mexican border since it’s in your own fuckin backyard!!! What have you done for America????? Nothing!!!! You probably pay your bills online!!! Thank God you and Palin aren’t in the White House!!!!!

    One more thing… The Postal Service could have 100 billion dollars in the bank.. They still have GED and High School Grad Stupidvisors, MDO’S and Plant Managers… Change the management style first.. That’s what’s killing the Post Office, not the Unions!!!!! Fuck You Mccain, Ross and especially you ISSA!!!! Fuckin Anti-Union, American Hating TEABAG REPUBLICANS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Create jobs not fuckin kill them!!!!!!!

  19. I predict the FERS surplus contribution of $6.9 billion will be used as an early out incentive for FERS postal employees. They will eliminate the penalty for CSRS early outs. That’s all Suckas

  20. The senators said “The bill also contains common sense language that would mandate that Postal Service employees pay the same health and life insurance premium percentage as other federal workers.  This is estimated to save the Postal Service $700 million annually.
    How much the senators and house of representatives are paying for their health and life insurance premium? If the pay the same tax payer may save $500 million annually?

  21. The senators said “The bill also contains common sense language that would mandate that Postal Service employees pay the same health and life insurance premium percentage as other federal workers.  This is estimated to save the Postal Service $700 million annually.
    How much the senators and house of representatives are paying for their health and life insurance premium? If the pay the same tax payer may save $500 million annually?

  22. All the problems that are coming up now is a result of all the work that was done by all these people in charge. For 16 years I had worked really hard, I don’t think i got overpaid comparing with the ones that get a big pay and bonus every year such as Post Masters, and station managers. If the U.S.P.S is gone tomorrow I will not have my job, but I will not feel guilty. I always will have my conscious clean, because I work very hard like all the mail carriers, and I believe that I get paid fairly, with the amount of work I do.

  23. Somebody get something started on you tube and twitter and Facebook telling the public how to contact the correct website in order to protest facilities closings procedures so that we employees have more voices telling the correct DC office all of our angered views about making snail mail even slower etc etc. In general the public needs to be heard at the correct forum/website to voice their objections to the planned closings as all these AMPs are getting started

    Come on u techy type guys out there. Post the info on loins and see if we can start a VIRAL frenzy of public interest/protest to all these closings scheduled. Tell public too about potters big fat bonuses HE too when he left office. How about new PMG take big cut in his salary for starters

  24. The 238 Billion “figure” has been debunked plenty of times, and labeling the return of billions in over-compensation paid by the USPS as a bailout is ridiculous. If we have any lobbyists, they should be hammering on someone to get the word out on these essential, pivotal lies. But, Ruth Goldway has done so, and they ignore it, Congressmen Gerry Connolly (D-VA) Don Young (R-AK are pleading with the PRC to avoid closing small offices, and returning the over-paid monies, and they are being ignored as well. And guys like McCain and Issa are allowed to use this false language with impunity. Can’t we ever effectively call these guys out on this? When non-Postal folks hear this stuff repeated, what else are they to believe? Someone stand up and call these guys liars.

    “I’m not going to go along with a fictitious story about taxpayers owing the Postal Service money when the facts show that’s simply not the reality,” States Darrell Issa.

  25. The reality is these scumbags used the USPS as a cash cow for years and they are unwilling to end the congressional gravy train. They would rather gut the service in hopes of sqeazing a few more drops of milk from the Postal Udders before they slaughter off the cow.

    We need to get out there in every damned town in America and tell people what has really happened to the USPS before it is to late.

    I can’t believe we are going to let a car theif and a washed up old man like McCain ruin the Postal Service.

    This is really our fight to lose, we need to get moving. It isn’t like we don’t have boots on the ground in every town in America, for Gosh sakes we have as many people as the US Military. All we have do spread the word!

  26. first class mail demands will never recover and will just continue to decline due to other options consumers have (e.g. texting, emails, etc…) . Bottom line is that usps infastructure is obsolite, people wlll adjust as technology gets better. temporary solutions isn’t going to cut it. facilities need to be closed and layoffs is imminent. layoff those that sandbag all day and hardly do any work, yah you know who you are, don’t kid yourself. Good times don’t last forever.

  27. Mailman…let them vote out their representatives! This is no bailout! This is not like reverting bids then repost later…you will need a bailout to fix it if they screw up!

  28. i like consolidating small post offices into one big office, number its time these fucking slug postmasters to take a hike fing out whats its like to sweat and work your ass off, they have been doing mostly nothing since i have been working for the last 28 years they have all the chairs in the office wore out, ITS TIME FOR 5 DAY DELIVERY, THERE IS NOT ENOUGH TO SUPPORT 6 DAY DELIVERY

  29. But let’s add to this idea. Move all the managers in the postal service to Issa’s district and let the carriers, clerks and mail handlers run the rest. Issa’s post office will close the 1st day because management fired all their workers to save their own salaries

  30. Luv the twist game… usps did say they would have an estimated shortfall of 238 million by 2020. When confronted, they admitted that would be if they did absolutely nothing and that action had already been taken to ensure that doesn’t happen. Tell Mccain to stop fueling the fire with half truths just to push more crappy legislation. Easiest way to get back on track is to give us our money back. You know they either pulled a soc sec on it or it’s supporting the benefit programs of opm. If they give us our money back, you will most likely see opm say they will not have money for their programs.

  31. As a test, why not end retail services and 6 day delivery in the districts of the Congressmen and Senators that vote for the Ossa-Ross-McCain bill. See how much money is actualy saved. If their constituents don’t like it, they can tell their Representative.

  32. I agree 100% Debbie. the demagoguery and toxicity displayed by these politicians and the media is appalling. They call it a “Bailout” because congress raided the coffers and doesn’t want to return it stole. Instead they attack the workers and claim they make too much money. Pretty hypocritical considering these politicians are living lavish lives on the taxpayer dime.

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