After All Of The Grandstanding, Issa Has Chickened Out On Postal Reform

Update: Rep. Dennis Ross responds to Burrus via Twitter:

A Subtle Shift

After all of the grandstanding, Congressman Darryl Issa has chickened out on his threat to impose draconian changes on the US Postal Service under the guise of reform.  He has preened and postured about the elimination of no layoff, six day delivery, abrogating negotiated agreements and a host of citizen and employee protections, but when given the opportunity he chickened out. The Senate completed its work two months ago and passed the torch to the House, and what did Issa do?  He ducked the opportunity not because he does not continue to harbor his evil intents, but because he did not have the votesRepublican supporters have deserted him in droves warning that the politics of postal reform before the November elections is not in their favor, and that the issue is extremely embarrassing since they have an opportunity to take back the White House.

The postal unions as well as engaged members are credited with ratcheting up the pressure in the Republican Districts making postal services a priority at the ballot box with community involvement.  Citizens and small businesses who hate unions know that their lives will be changed by the draconian Issa proposals and their Representatives do not want the stench of postal reform to drain away reliable votes.   The town hall meetings, pickets and post cards had their affects and give a glimpse of the democratic process and effective citizen involvement.  The blanket approach of treating every Congressman and Senator equally with solid supporters receiving the same attention as the target audience wasted resources; nevertheless it was sufficient to raise eyebrows and get the attention of Republican lawmakers who can read the polls and want to get reelected instead of making a political point.

Before we expand our chest and declare victory, we must improve the effort to be a player in the political process.  Mail services affect every citizen so we do not have to invest in name recognition and the approval ratings are off the charts so we have a tactical advantage.  We must reject the feel good efforts of preaching to the public and educating them on winning the argument of reform.  Who pays for the mail services and the impact of the PAEA are debating points that do not transcend into political demands.  The public engages when they are personally affected and they were convinced that their ability to communicate would be drastically affected.  These Republican Congresspersons got the message.

I remember an occasion in the 1960s when the letter carriers rewalked their routes after the completion of their work day in uniform with a political message to influence debate on a point.  I do not remember the issue or the outcome but there is no more trusted civil servant than the letter carrier and that tactic is the worst nightmare of a political zealot seeking reelection.   Voters pay attention to the national debate from a governing philosophy, but they engage in masses when it affects them personally.  The message of postal reform has been personalized and Issa got the message.

Where do we go from here?  Without House action no changes will be made to the PAEA obligation and on the books the Postal Service will continue to be obligated to pay the onerous payment.  Political accommodations will be made and the Postal Service will limp through the fiscal year.  The bright spot is that volume is stabilizing and if the economy continues to improve, volume will follow. Combine that with the tremendous cost savings from the labor agreements and plant consolidations – barring another economic slowdown the Postal Service can stabilize its finances.  This will include major restructuring of reduced wages, increased contributions for health insurance and a much smaller footprint of plants and retail outlets.  This is the model going forward and the responsibility of getting there was pushed from Congress in releasing the retirement overpayment and relaxing the future health care payment to the employees and service to the public through relaxed service standards.

In 1970, Congress established the legislative framework for the Postal Service clearly requiring that postal wages would be determined by a standard of comparability.  This has been morphed into a standard of “ability to pay” and future generations of postal employees will be called upon to abandon comparability and assume the responsibility of saving the Postal Service.

Bill Burrus
Burrus Journal

36 thoughts on “After All Of The Grandstanding, Issa Has Chickened Out On Postal Reform

  1. lamont,

    I bet Abraham Lincoln never imagined what would become of his emancipation of the aforementioned. Give an inch, they’ll take a booty mile! The dumbing down of America has only just begun and the USPS is part and parcel to it’s stepped up demise.

  2. st louis mail facilitys are typical of the bigger problem..too many people(black females especially) are GIVEN a job they know nothing about,numbers become the game,and the customer suffers…and the craft take the blame. For craft once again(the females) dont come to work half the time,late all the time,and want to supercede senority to do nothing if they can get away it. AND WE WONDER WHY!!!

  3. Get everything we can don’t give up anything that way there won’t be any retirement for those who are being so stupid.

  4. Of course, there has to be one comment praising Issa and his union hating agenda, that being “conservative hombre”, who is either well off himself, or a kool-aid drinking Limbaugh tit sucking dumb ass who is as clueless and stupid as his fellow minions.
    I wouldn’t rest too easy though because once Congress goes to lame duck, Issa could try to be his usual arrogant jerk again, although that probability is lower now. I was hoping some of the other GOP’s would stand up to Issa in the interest of their own necks, and they did. But remember, even if something good comes out of a Republican Congress, Senate or President, it’s only in the self interest and political pressure, never out of conscience or a sense of responsibility to their constituents. Those hoping Issa will be voted out will be disappointed because his district is a very rich one outside San Diego where his vote is primarily the gated community rich asshole vote. These people are incapable of doing anything in the interest of others.


    Cliff Guffey
    (202) 842-4250
    (202) 842-4297 (FAX)

    Greg Bell
    Executive Vice President
    (202) 842-4250
    (202) 842-4297 (FAX)

    Elizabeth Powell
    (202) 842-4215
    (202) 842-8530 (FAX)

    Mike Morris
    Industrial Relations
    (202) 842-4273
    (202) 371-0992 (FAX)

    Rob Strunk
    Clerk Division
    (202) 842-4220
    (202) 842-8517 (FAX)


    Cliff Guffey
    (202) 842-4250
    (202) 842-4297 (FAX)

    Greg Bell
    Executive Vice President
    (202) 842-4250
    (202) 842-

  7. Who cares!, if the God Damn Union would communicate about the VER, that would help , privatization will kill the abusive God Damn Satanic Management, we need Vlad the Impaler, maybe he could help us put all of the sick crap managers heads on poles and we can walk into work past them.

  8. Ignorance is not bliss. Conservative do not want anything to change. The rich will maintain control to insure the rich blue blood maintain wealth control and produce goods anywhere in the world at the chapest labor cost.Outsourcing to China and others countries is to produce product at lowest labor cost and sell at high price to American consumer. Check out Ralph Lauren and making US Olympic clothing in China. Laws should exist to eliminate this and be enforced.
    Free Enterprise must have controls as the quest to make profits by any means must be controlled..

  9. If not for Conservatives? Obama? A few freedoms? Hello…….this is America….we have the freedom to Vote. That’s my point. I stand in the Middle. This Tea Party Bullshit and Absolute Right Wing View is Repulsive! I don’t want to give my hard earned money to the Poor OR the Rich. Obama…….I just watch him “Bee Bop” to the podium and it makes me sick too. If you “Mr. Wage Freeman” want to solute Rush Limbaugh and listen to that Cry Baby Glen Beck and cry Socialist to everyone that wants a fair shake….you have that freedom. I’m not that easily sold by either. One thing I know for sure…..the middle class is getting screwed again! In addition, to say the least, putting everything else aside, if you are not rich and YOU work for the Post Office and vote Conservative…….then you my friend, are the idiot!

  10. Joe, you are an intolerant , ignorant commie. If not for conservatives, you would not have what few freedoms you have left. Recommended reading for all Obama lovers: Barack Obama’s Rules For Revolution by David Horowitz. Read it, and if you still love Obama, then America is not for you. The true patriots of America are not going to allow Obama’s vision to come to pass. So, go peddle your blind ignorance somewhere else.

  11. Look, unless you have walked a Route and Delivered Mail, I doubt anyone will understand what a physical demanding and stressful job it is. Union Job? Yes. A job you can make a modest living with. This Attack on Unions and Veterans and the American Worker (i.e. Post Office) by Issa and the GOP is Bull Shit! Go wave your Made in China Flag and Play with your Gun and March in your Tea Party Parade while we (The American Worker and Veteran) protect and pay your freaggin Way! Go sell that “conservative shit” somewhere else!

  12. Without Issa’s REFORM bill we can kiss the po goodbye. All the other bills that the senate and house have introduced and passed are union appeasers and will solve nothing of what ails the po. You folks that are in love with the union will find out too late.

  13. USPS is not going anywhere. USPS is an American tradition comparable to national anthemn and pledge to American Flag. This institution will always be in operation regardless of financial issues. Congress will make available finances to cover monatary losses. Politicans are pondering to American voters as they will not do anything to insure being elected for 4 more years.
    Maintaining USPS is as critical as insuring Medicare is here to stay.

  14. Bottom Line is Issa needs to go. Simple as that. He does not…… and never will be in the best interest of the American Worker. Robme (Romney) Too! Come on get real people….do you disagree? Put yourself in their shoes…….your bank account has a balance of 250 Million or more. Would you know the concerns off a person that makes 50K or less? Would you Care? HELL NO! Unless you are Robert E. Lee who once turned down 50K to use his name for a college. That was about 50 Million in those days. He said he could not except it because he did not earn it. Leaders like that are not around anymore. Just do whats right and vote these people out! Tell your friends and family, neighbors too!

  15. Issa is like so many other wealthy gay men- preening and self important.
    Being a homosexual republican presents problems for him, but his enormous wealth shields him from being exposed.

  16. Donahoe`s defeatest attitute will destroy the Postal Service.Down sizing or closing (140) processing plants greatly deminishes the infrastructure of the Postal network leaving existing processing plants overwhlemed ,add to this his plan to go to five day delivery,these plants will be busting at thier seams.Throw in a holiday and thier in complete chaos.Now they have increased costs of overtime pay to process all this mail and extend the carriers day to get it delivered.Not to mention leaving these existing plants with no room to grow.As donahoe said, the parcel business is growing and will continue to grow as the economy rebounds.Once the network is gone and business continues to grow ,Where do you put this mail?

  17. It’s all about the money people.Did you hear the Govenor of Connecticut walked on the strike pickett line?

  18. Liberals always use the race card when people attack Obama. He is being judged on his actions nothing else. He purposed on 2 of his budgets 5 day delivery. Look it up. I did not like Bush and I think Obama is the worst president since Harding. I didn’t vote for McCain or Obama in 2008. This time I say vote for A.B.O. (Anybody but Obama)

  19. Can we please stop with the trendy, overused term “moving forward”? Every spokesperson, government lackey, and soulless businessman keeps using it, right along with “right-size” and “sea change”. Donahoe says “moving forward” at least a half-a-dozen times in every speech he gives. Ugh… Umm…other than that it was just another Burrus speech i accidentally read. That guy needs a hobby.

  20. Issa is like the little kid throwing a tantrum when things don’t go his way, he won’t push it cuz he knows better, but he won’t change his mind either. Off he goes into the corner to sulk and pout and whine, with his rag doll ross. I propose house bill 0069 removal of any committee head chair that proposes bills that house majority don’t support. How any committee head could ever wield such power is beyond belief and should not be allowed. Majority rule is the best rule. This whole issa/ross bill push through should never have nor been allowed to happen. Better bills are not allowed to come through with this committee system where the head chair promotes their own agendas/bills while blocking the good ones. The downfall of the Romans (greed) will be the downfall of America.

  21. Now if only we can get back the service to our customers and get the clerks back to the windows

  22. You nut-cases with your trolling hate for Obama. What does any of this have to do with Obama? More haters. Forgot to take the trash out? Is that his fault, as well?

  23. Obama is no friend of the Unions of the postal service, and we therefore should not support him. He is the enemy, along with issa and boehner and romney. Their goal seems to be to eliminate unions and send work overseas. They all should be voted out of office and into an unemployment line. Obama is set on destroying the postal service with his board of governor appointees. Obama is the enemy and we should turn to romney and see if he will support the unions goals. Obama the liar obama is the enemy

  24. are you sure he is not just waiting for the postal service to default on the 5.5 billion dollar payment due in august , and then he will say – see they can’t pay their bills! We must act now and try then to impose draconian cuts

  25. CONCERNED: I say vote them all out including Obama. Supporters and non- supporters. Because the supporters will take your money and then stab you in the back. Like 5 day delivery(Obama) and the Senators that voted for S.1789.

  26. I say, find out what side of the issue your Congress rep is on. If he or she supports the distruction off the Postal Service. VOTE THIER ASS OUT!!!!

  27. Issa……what a Putz! Boehner too. Boo Hoo Boehner…..yea I grew up hard and poor on the south side of….oh I forget where? Hamptons?

  28. Issa is a self serving monster,you would think california would get rid of the shallow, elitist , Get rid of his let them eat cake agenda. Boehner wont let the political fallout hit until after november.

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