House Committee to Vote Thursday on Issa Bill

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will vote Oct. 13 on a bill that the APWU has denounced as “a reckless assault on postal services and postal employees.” The bill, H.R. 2309, is sponsored by Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL). The committee will Webcast its deliberations, which will begin at 9:30 a.m. The Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and Labor Policy approved the bill on Sept. 21 by a vote of 8-5.

The Legislative and Political Department has asked APWU members whose representatives serve on the committee to contact them and urge them to vote no.

“The bill would destroy the Postal Service as we know it,” President Cliff Guffey said.

The Issa-Ross bill calls for $1 billion worth of cuts in post offices in the first year and $2 billion worth of cuts in mail processing facilities in the second year.

It also would abrogate the Collective Bargaining Agreement by granting authority to a newly-established control board to carry out layoffs, despite any provisions in union contracts that might limit such actions. The bill says that employees who are eligible for retirement must be laid off before employees who are ineligible, and dictates that retirement-eligible employees with the longest service must be separated first.

“This is an outrageous assault on the fundamental principles of unionism – fairness and respect for seniority,” Guffey said.

The Postal Service has announced it wants to reduce the workforce by 220,000, and is seeking authority to lay off as many as 120,000, including tens of thousands of military veterans. H.R. 2309 would authorize the layoffs.

The bill also would empower a newly-created “solvency authority” to unilaterally cut wages and abolish benefits.

“H.R. 2309 fails to address the fundamental cause of the Postal Service’s financial difficulties,” said Legislative and Political Director Myke Reid. The bill does nothing to correct the requirement to pre-fund the healthcare benefits of future retirees, which forces the USPS to fund a 75-year liability in just 10 years, he said. No other government agency or private business is required to make these payments, which cost the Postal Service approximately $5.5 billion annually. The bill also fails to address billions of dollars in USPS overpayments to federal pension accounts, Reid noted.

“We call upon APWU members to step up their opposition to H.R. 2309 and their support for H.R. 1351,” Reid said.

H.R. 1351 would help provide the Postal Service financial stability by allowing the Postal Service to apply the pension overpayments to the pre-funding obligation. The bill, introduced by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA), has 225 co-sponsors – including 26 Republicans – but Rep. Issa has refused to allow it to come up for a vote.

source: APWU – House Committee to Vote on Issa Bill.

9 thoughts on “House Committee to Vote Thursday on Issa Bill

  1. Everyone needs to say a big prayer GOD steps in tomorrow while some important issues are discussed and voted on. This is going to take a divine intervention for the craziness going on concerning how to FIX the postal service. Since supervisors are walking around telling us carriers with that DOIS paper what time we are supposed to leave and come back, those jobs are already done-eliminate the top-place the mail volume on our trays and leave/return times. Then at 3:00pm make the call to your Postmaster.

  2. The bill H.R. 2309 supported by chairman Issa sounds like age discrimination, if you ask me… Kick out the more senior employees, who most likely are the oldest!

  3. I have been in the Postal Service for 31 years and in the US Navy for 4 years. Never in my entire life have I witnesed elected people so against the people who elected them to office to represent us. I do believe that Issa and Ross need to be recalled. These two people have lost contact with reality. They WANT to put working people out of work which will lead to more people on unemployment and or the wellfare rolls. These people need to be told by their peers that such actions are against the best interests of America. The Republican party can and should take charge and vote NO on this bill. It is a bill that is against everything that is American. We who are not in an elected position need to put pressure on those who we elected to represent us in Washington. It is very clear that Issa and Reed have lost their way and need to be stoped in this mad drive to destroy the Postal Service and destroy the lives of so many who have served their country, not to mention the families of the workers who would also be affected by these rogue actions.

  4. @steve and Brandi: If it passes the full committee, it would first go to the House for a vote. And then if it passes there it would go to the Senate. Not sure if it would pass the House, but since the House is Republican controlled, it probably has a chance. As Brandi implied, it doesn’t have any chance at all in the Dem controlled Senate. But I worry that as they try to compromise and reconcile the bills that are passed in the House and Senate, that some of Issa’s bill might end up in a final bill that could be passed by both the House and Senate. Hopefully, at least 4 Republicans will vote against it in the committee tomorrow and we won’t have to worry about it.

  5. Why would the Congressmen that are supposed to be fixing the finanacial situations and help the Postal Service have such an agenda against the Postal Service. I think this needs to be investigated because the facts are in on the over payments and Issa and Ross are out to destroy. I am recently retired from USPS and with all of the changes and miscommunication going on about how to fix everything, the very Congress that has all of the power to change United States Postal Service and supposedly IMPROVE the financial crisis is walking around with blinders on and earplugs in when it comes to the workers that know the facts and also suggest changes and even contact their respective Congressman/woman. If Saturday deliver were to end, does Congress realize FEDEX and UPS depend on us to deliver alot of their packages and we send our mail on FEDEX planes for transportation. The customer service is going downhill already and someone is buying in to all of this reduction in service and closing post offices and driving people more and more to use the internet. STOP IT RIGHT NOW! Think about what jobs and lives you are destroying Congress before you make the wrong vote.

  6. Issa and Ross should not even be in Congress.
    They are not qualified to serve America.
    They are only in Congess to serve themselves and be multi millionaires.
    They don’t care about America or Americans.
    They want to be kings while everyone else is a slave working for minimum wage.
    Typical Republicans, nothing more.

  7. this committee has 40 members (23 republicans, 17 democrats) if the 23 republicans vote with Issa & Ross, what’s the next step after that?

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