Oversight Committee Approves Issa-Ross Postal Reform Bill

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform issued the following press release:

WASHINGTON D.C. – The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform today approved H.R. 2309, the Oversight Committee Postal Reform Act of 2011 which will return the United States Postal Service (USPS) to sustainability and profitability without a taxpayer bailout. The Issa-Ross bill is the only postal reform proposal that has been successfully acted on this Congress.

“The United States Postal Service cannot become a taxpayer subsidized make-work program. To save the Postal Service, we must enact meaningful and immediate reform so we can maintain service to the American people and return it to financial solvency,” said Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. “The postal service is on the brink of collapse. Today, we have acted to pass a bill and provide an immediate and viable path forward to make the postal service more efficient, protect its workforce and ultimately return it to being a profitable enterprise. The reality is that failure to act now on the Issa-Ross bill will result in an automatic taxpayer-funded bailout.”

“We can no longer afford to postpone the Postal Service’s day of reckoning by putting our collective heads in the sand and wishing the problem away,” said Rep. Dennis A. Ross (R-FL), Chairman of the Oversight subcommittee on postal reform. “Members here today are faced with a stark choice: Are we willing to make the hard decisions necessary to save the Postal Service or will we let it crumble on our watch and potentially put this venerable institution at risk – along with the jobs of the 8 million Americans who work in the mailing industry?”

You can watch Chairman Issa’s opening remarks here. You can watch Subcommittee Chairman Ross’ comments here.

The Oversight Committee Postal Reform Act of 2011 was approved on a 22-18 vote. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has introduced a companion bill in the Senate. For more information visit http://SavingThePostalService.com.

Below, you’ll find a summary of the provisions in the bill as amended.

Summary of the H.R. 2309, the Postal Reform Act, as Amended

Prevents Taxpayer Bailouts: plan delivers an efficient, effective Postal Service without the thinly-veiled taxpayer bailout proposed by other bills and thoroughly denounced by the Government Accountability Office.

Modernizes Delivery Standards: the Postal Reform Act saves an estimated $3 billion a year by giving the Postal Service the option of eliminating Saturday delivery six months after the enactment of the legislation. According to polling by Quinnipiac University, 79% of the American people favor moving to 5 day delivery in order to restore the Postal Service to solvency.

Normalizes Rates: phases out many special rates for certain customers that force the Postal Service to actually charge certain customers less than the true cost of delivery, while preserving the ability for non-profits to fundraise and communicate with a mass audience in an economical manner.

Ends Special Treatment for Political Parties: the legislation eliminates the ability of the national and state political committees to use the non-profit mail rate.

Shares Sacrifice in Post Office Consolidations– Empanels a BRAC-style two-year task force, directed to recommend a plan to consolidate redundant post offices – saving at least $1 billion a year, excess mail processing faciliites – saving at least $2 billion per year – and the 30% of management facilities. The legislation ensures that small post offices that do not cost much to operate but serve isolated areas are maintained in order to preserve universal service. Under current closure rules, rural post offices are unfairly targeted by strict formulas on foot traffic that fail to account for community impact. The legislation also preserves appeal rights for citizens affected by post office consolidation.

Normalizes Pay & Benefits: mandates that postal workers pay at least the same health and life insurance premiums federal workers do, and clarifies that compensation parity with the private sector is maintained.

Establishes a Restructuring Authority to Turnaround Postal Defaults: when the Postal Service fails to pay its bills for more than 30 days, a receivership-style authority takes over for USPS management with an explicit mandate to cut costs while maintaining universal service. Management is replaced if they cannot successfully restructure Postal Service finances. Restructuring will be financed with an up to $10 billion line of credit that must be fully collateralized by postal facilities. The restrucutring authority will have the ability to make policy changes to cut costs as well- for instance- by moving from expensive door delivery to curb or clusterboxes in neighborhoods, the Postal Service will save $3.5 billion annually, while maintaining to the greatest extent possible door service in poor, densely populated, and historic neighborhoods. The solvency authority will also have the ability to remove postal workers from the expensive federal workers compensation system to be placed in their own.

Enables Postal Service to Pursue 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.

Offers an Affordable Payment Plan for Retiree Health Care Benefits– Allows the Postal Service to make the retiree health care funding payment they can make this year, roughly $1 billion, and pay the balance in equal installments in Fiscal Year 2015 and Fiscal Year 2016.

Surpluses in Pension Accounts to Facilitate Workforce Rightsizing– Provides for consideration of using a net surplus in all Postal Service pension accounts to fund the cost of reducing the size of the postal workforce. This provision protects taxpayers by ensuring that surplus funds are only accessible if there is an actual net surplus in all accounts.

No-More No-Layoff Clauses- No-layoff clauses are prospectively barred in Postal Service collective bargaining agreements. For employees who might lose their job, they will receive a hiring preference at Postal Service contractors. Postal employees would be subject to the same Reduction-in-Force authority as the rest of the federal workforce.

46 thoughts on “Oversight Committee Approves Issa-Ross Postal Reform Bill

  1. There is alot of waste in the post office something needs to be done all the carriers know all the extra supervision and loading more work on carriers needs to be done! Management dont listen to us who deliver the mail and know where we can save they say do it our way!!!!

  2. They want to get rid of the senior people because they are the ones holding the PO together. Ask any American what the service is like when the senior people are off or on vacation. It’s horrendous. The poorer the service, the less public support. This is only the first step toward privatization. Where are the democrats? Where is labor? This will affect every union in the country. If they can’t protect their most senior members what good are they. Issa keeps talking about the 3 employees who are 98 years old and still on workers compensation. Something like that can be fixed with a simple amendment. We all know it’s abuse. On comp for 5 or more years you are forced into retirement. Done. That would actually help the PO. That’s not the goal. The objective is privatization. And by any means necessary.

  3. mis-management is the reason the postal service is circling the drain. our supervisors are constantly violating the contract causing grievances which ultimately cost thousands of dollars. not to mention pissing the carriers off in doing so. we are over supervised. we all see our supervisors standing around laughing and yucking it up while we work. one dipshit in particular only got to be a boss because her father was a postmaster. she is the worst one of all. get rid of the dummies who are putting us out of business….THE MAILMAN HAS SPOKEN

  4. REP. ISSA!

    1. ERICK on Fri, 14th Oct 2011 5:03 pm

    Its all of your fault. By supporting the Socialist Democrats election after election, you caused what is going on in this country. You and the unions opened it up for the Republicans and the Tea Party to get in and decimate the working people of this country. Don’t give to COLPCE! I gave to COLPCE for 8 yrs. When the healthcare bill was passed and supported by the unions against the wishes of the people I cut COLPCE OFF! They will just continue to give money to the people who will screw this country. Remember the president was supported by the unions and now he is stabbing us in the back with 5day delivery.


  5. Obama will veto it if and when it gets to him. It would be political suicide to pass such a disastrous bill, especially with elections coming up. The only reason it passed the committee is because Issa is chairman, enough said. I’ll vote Dem before I vote Rep ever again. A vote for Republican is a vote for unemployment.

  6. All you brainwashed idiots who vote democrat and fall for all their lies. What have they ever done for us? We never had all these problems when we had a republican president!!! Postal management has sold us down the river without a paddle and the democrats don’t care.

  7. Remember who these people are when its time for us to vote in 2012.

    It aint over till its over, i saw and heard the hole mark up, Issa/Ross are out to fuck the workers the post office and the American people, period. Any one who signed onto his bill is one in the same.

    You voted them in you can vote them out.

    “If passed, H.R. 2309 would be a disaster for the USPS and for postal employees.” The bill must be passed by the full House and Senate and signed by President Obama before it can become law, he pointed out.

    My Congressman is ED ROYCE, we are watching.

  8. Oh and to smitty… We dont need to hire more carriers. What we need is the ability to replace some of these slacker half route carrying gimps with people ready to work instead of people coming in looking to hand of as much imaginary ot as they can. I hear you on the supervisors though

  9. If they opm owes us money then they need to give it back. Thats rediculus. As far as issas bill is concerned some of it is relevent, like ending walking delivery and the ability to end sat delivery. I understand losing sat delivery will cost us jobs but there really is no need to deliver on sat. We have to adapt to our situation and people may have to go. Thats part of life get over it. I just hope they start with the gimps and the weakest employees. That only makes sense. You put your best team on the playing field. Want to be on the field? Step up your game

  10. For you GOING POSTAL AND OTHERS Concern: Don’t forget Obama’s Mom was a White, therefore he is Bi-racial. Barack’s 50% blood is white. To categorize people is simply to say what you see, saw or seen in your eyes. Don’t forget how he became Barack Obama. No neither race shall ever claim him because he is a President. If parents were two different races is bi means two racial. Our grandchildren are bi-racial. If black Puerto Rican or Hatian become President, what you will call him or her. Are you going to claim them as well.

    It is nice to have a Union at work. A union will work and fight for employees’ rights. Where I work, Both Mail Handlers and APWU Unions are worthless. What the use. You pay your dues, shop stewards are not working for members, they working for themselves and gets extra employments benefits and priviledges, from parking and immunities.

  11. Check out the Postal Regulatory Commision website. They have just completed the 5 yr analysis of the 2006 Postal Accountability and Recovery Act. This is required in the law, to be sent to congress and the president. They are not a political group, but are there to serve the public. This Analysis should be reported from every news organization. They request opinions from you, us, the public.

  12. I do find humor in things like this, but – first things first. Yes, yes, congrats to all ye merry baggers – you have stirred up emotions and have — AGAIN– taken something and called it something else. Where does the current PO have an urgent need for a ‘no no-layoff clause’? I want to work forty hours a week and go home, but I am being forced overtime as are most other carriers. Did you hear that? Overtime…..cosistently! One with 1/6 of a brain would argue that we need to cut from the non-working sector (management, duh) and HIRE, YES HIRE, more letter carriers. Pass a damn bill that takes care of our real financial issues – unfortunately for the ‘oversight capitalists’ I’ve read our posts and know we are educated, first hand, on the issues driving us into the ground. Issa, we are a helluva lot smarter than you think.

  13. This bill is crap. Its just a way to privitize the postal service. We already almost doubled our health care contributions thanks to obamaplan. Issa/Ross is hoping we default on that payment so they can take us over and implement the Solvency Act on us. Issa/Ross also are sayin that the postal service never overpaid into CSRS. We did a study and hired someone to do the study and both said YES we overpaid by the billions. We just want that money back and they are saying “we don’t owe them anything”. I have to agree with Wolfgang, so many prejudice people didn’t want a black pres so they all vote republican even my stupid postal coworkers. I said if you want to lose your job vote republican. They always say the same crap to me “Why do I care, I’ll be retired.” Stupid dum@sses. The USPS proposed a bill HR 1351 that was better & would solve all the financial problem without layoffs. We already are implementing huge cost cutting efforts on our own. The USPS media blitz backfired on us. These idiot republicans jumped on the opportunity to begin privitization!

  14. We all need to sacrifice to save the USPS. PMG needed to downsize too many numbers of low quality Managers and Upper Managers positions. Prevent promoting family members, boyfriends, girlfriends; and giving and receiving sexual favors for exchange of a much higher pay level positions (It’s a corruptions).
    I believed it is fair and very intelligently decided by Mr. Issa and Ross. Yes the USPS is broke, because it has been mismanaged by low quality managers. Now Donahoe will fix the problem.
    Alot of employees are worry especially those lazy ones. Good decisions..BRAVO..ISSA< ROS< MCCAIN and Reid. When you convert to PSE, you gonna work your butt off.. Hep-hep..Hooooraayyyyyyy..

  15. We bargain in good faith, both sides agree we think? Not realizing the post office has there fingers crossed behind there back so they can whine to congress, “The union is picking on me, they wouldnt let us take out the no lay off clause.” Not telling congress that they did not fight to take it out or go to arbitration. What bull!

  16. Issa/Ross and the rest of you loser that voted for this crap. Got a news flash for ya’s yahoo….

    “Democrats have made it clear the situation means the bill effectively stands very little chance of passing through the US Senate, in which they currently have the majority.

    The Senate is expected to meet next week to mark up its own postal reform bill.”

    Have a nice day

  17. i hope whoever voted for the tea baggers are proud of themselves…. voying for their own demise….. propoganda works well…… watch fox news enough, you vote against your job.

  18. Someone check Issas birth certificate. When we find out his real name is Mohammad Islama Shomoma Yomama we can send this thieving prick back to Lebanon or wherever he came from.

  19. Shame on McCain and his cut throat co-horts. Does this idiot realize how many veterans the Postal Service employs. So much for his rhetoric about being a spokesman for veterans everywhere.

  20. mandantes that postal workers pay the same health insurance premiums as other federal workers….that means we can pay the same as Issa & Ross do…yeah right

  21. I just got a brainfart, when I’m forced to retire with nothing, I’ll start a new PO and deliver it by horse at least the rural folks will love me!

  22. Just the title of this portion is a joke, politics, need I say more. The Walstreeters are right, there just scared of what Bushes Patriot Act can do to them!

  23. This is privitization in high gear. Sad to see all of the negativity and corruption going on in Washington against the Postal Service. It all rolls down hill with ultimately the customers suffering and then wondering why they are getting poor customer service! It’s not to late to actually WRITE a letter to your Congressman, that is if they even have a voice left with the Oversight Committee…wow

  24. No-More No-Layoff Clauses- No-layoff clauses are prospectively barred in Postal Service collective bargaining agreements. For employees who might lose their job, they will receive a hiring preference at Postal Service contractors. Postal employees would be subject to the same Reduction-in-Force authority as the rest of the federal workforce.

    I dont see anything about them on the way out?

  25. 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

    Ok fine with us, so wear can we put our logo?

  26. The American people put the Republican Tea Bag Party into power by voting them into the majority. The new House Speaker Boener was given the power to appoint Chairmanship ( ie) Issa as Chairman of the House Oversight Commitee, thats how 2 people hold power over 225.
    How many of my fellow Postal Workers were in a frenzie to vote Republican in the last election because they hated Obama.

  27. The US House of Representatives has obviously become like the mob used to be, either do what the leaders say or they will make it bad for you. The United States of America has become home to thugs, liars and the new legal mob. I am ashamed to be an American under these people who claim to be representatives of the citizens of the USA. Whom do they really represent? It sure ain’t the citizens of the USA.

  28. Issa and Ross don’t care about the Post Office.
    Their agenda is to use their office for personal gain to be multi millionaires and get Obama voted out of office.
    Create more unemployment by laying off all Postal Workers.
    Then at election they will point the finger at Obama and say see your President got you all fired.
    Then they will say vote for the Republican candidate for President in 2012.
    Those 2 are just looking for a Cabinet position in a future Republican President.
    As payback for working against the post office and working against government agencies and working against working people.
    Remember, Issa and Ross are suppose to be working for the voters of America.
    Instead, they are looking after themselves, getting richer and thinking how they can get a Cabinet position in 2013.
    This is what this bill is all about.
    It is about them.
    Who are the people that voted Issa and Ross into office?
    Everybody in the USA says they didn’t vote for those 2.
    How did they get elected into office?
    They are not qualified to be in office.

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