Senators Call for House Action on Postal Reform

WASHINGTON – Anticipating the imminent default by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) on its required pre-payment for future retiree health benefits, the Senate authors of comprehensive postal reform legislation Wednesday urged the House of Representatives to consider its own version of postal reform legislation quickly.

Senators Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., Susan Collins, R-Maine, Tom Carper, D-Del., and Scott Brown, R-Mass. authored reform legislation to shore up the Postal Service’s financial solvency.  That legislation passed the Senate in April. The House must act now and allow the two chambers to reconcile the differences between the bills.

Lieberman, who is Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman, said: “In the absence of reform legislation, the financial condition of the Postal Service continues to deteriorate to the extent that it will miss a $5 billion payment to its healthcare fund for future retirees today and is likely to miss the next payment as well. The Postmaster General is running out of options, and, unless Congress acts, draconian cuts are a certainty in the future. The Senate passed the 21st Century Postal Service Act in April. It is long past time for the House to take up its own postal legislation so that we can get the Postal Service back on solid financial footing before essential services are lost for millions of people.”

Ranking Member Senator Collins said: “More than three months ago, the Senate passed comprehensive postal reform by a strong bipartisan vote.  Changes are needed now, but we cannot move forward without action by the House of Representatives.   Failure to act is irresponsible and only ensures that the financial free fall of the Postal Service will continue.

“For the first time, the Postal Service will default, on a required payment to the fund that supports health care for future retirees, potentially setting the stage to break promises to current workers about their future benefits.  The Senate bill ensures those promises will be kept, while still providing billions in relief by restructuring the payment plan in a responsible way.

“The Postal Service faces a daily loss of $25 million.  Without legislation, the universal mail service that drives a trillion dollar mail industry and supports more than eight million jobs will be in jeopardy.  Each job lost in this fragile economy is another family tragedy.  The Senate has passed a bipartisan postal reform bill to preserve the Postal Service and the critical economic activity it supports.  Now it is the House’s turn.  We urge the House to act now.”

The Postal Service is expected to default late Wednesday on a long-deferred payment to the U.S. Treasury to fund its future retiree health care obligations.  The payments are required as a result of the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. It is important to note that the Postal Service has reported deficits of billions of dollars even with the prefunding payment deferred, suggesting that the fiscal woes would still exist without the advance funding requirements in the 2006 law.

The bipartisan Senate bill, the 21st Century Postal Service Act, would restructure the Postal Service’s retiree health payments by stretching more of the total obligation out over a 40-year amortized payment schedule and by moving that schedule up to start in 2013 instead of in 2017.

25 thoughts on “Senators Call for House Action on Postal Reform

  1. Who’s jerking who around?
    USPS does not has to answer to APWU on whether to call a buyout. Buyout money does not come from the Union. If the APWU thinks that they are holding USPS hostage over some measly negotiation, they need to think twice. The official contract has already been settled and this holdup only delay the exit of eligible employees.
    USPS now has reasons to declare a bankruptcy and have the court review the contract in having it void and reorganize.
    Even though Guffey is saying he is not negotiating in public, what is the “accepting the best offer that is not in the best interests of our members”? What can be improve of this buyout other than more money?
    Will Guffey reveal what was his best interest offer for employees if USPS decides to go ahead with the buyout without the union’s approval?
    Congress is going home and won’t return until the end of the month but USPS will continue to lose $2 Billion a month.
    This $2 Billion is more than enough to complete the 100,000 employees exit. So far only 4,000 postmaster and 3,000 mailhandlers are leaving. This 7,000+ number is far short of expectation of USPS.
    Are people forgetting USPS plans of 30,000 a year for the next 5 years? They’ve been short for the last 2 years.

  2. Meanwhile in my district 2 VAR sites get millions of $$$$$$ of Value added refunds for work we could do.

    Of course 1 of these firms is national…my guess is the replacement workers for clerks when the USPS begins privatization.

    mailhandlers anyone can do it shuffle the casuals in shuffle them out

    carriers are the sticking point because any privatization of their work would require delivery. which means infrastructure/vehicles/gas/ commercial mailboxed (?).

    Management they are the easiest to replace look at private companies hiring kids out of college as managers with great resposibilities. Their biggest attribute, they know how to text and/or tweet which translates into be able to use computers, smart devices, etc.

  3. the money will start rolling in now,my office just went to 15 msp scans on the street,just think how much money that will generate.

  4. I don’t think the Senators want HR 2309, but getting anything passed will get it to a joint committee where hopefully more reasonable people besides Issa or Dennis Ross will modify the bill to make it as least damaging as possible to all concerned. We have seen at least in the House that those Representatives are childish, obscenely corrupt and absolutely refuse to deal with each other. We don’t need people like that.
    The longer the House delays acting the more unwilling the Senate will be to work with the bill. They will respond by acting like children too in the name of their own precious asses.
    We as a nation should be embarrassed and outraged at how infantile, corrupt and just plain fucking mean Washington is today. It’s nothing but a front for making favorable legislation for the corporate and financial bastards who own them. You and I don’t have a chance of a snowball in hell of ever getting their attention. We’re bottom feeding pond scum to both parties. If there was ever a time that called for a thorough cleaning house of all incumbents, I’d be hard pressed to pick a better one than this fall.

  5. The house sucks!!!! They are free loading off of the American people wallets!!! They are stealing time from the American people!!! They are NOT stealing time from the corporates fat cats. We need a change in the house that would benefit the American people and NOT corporate fat cats who are mostly foreigners.

  6. It looks bad for all of us. They could at least give the early out for clerks/carriers that wish to go. I do not understand why they haven’t done this. Could have saved money there. The mismanagement of the post office is unreal. Has been going for for YEARS AND YEARS. They have caused so many grievances with their treatment of workers. Since I have been there (25 yrs) the treatment I have received is unreal. Nowhere else could they (supervisors) be allowed to talk to you that way. Nowhere else would they even ACT THAT WAY. I could tell you stories. The EEO’S filed, that all cause the PO money. If you add it all up, its alot of money that could have been going into their accounts. No one likes to be treated like DOGS. No where else can you become a supervisor or manager, or district manager without proper college. Anyone at the PO can be in management. Look at all the managers that have STOLEN THEM BLIND! I can go on and on.
    We do not have managers, unions, leaders that are worth anything. That includes congress!

  7. APWU has screwed the clerks royally! USPS has no money and is in default. APWU executives will not give their approval for early out. Everyone else got theirs and money to boot. Now, clerks will be excessed to vacant mailhandler vacancies (except for junior stewards) and vice-versa. When the music stops…all those not in their seats will be laid off! Just like Newman used to screw Seinfeld over…APWU has screwed you. Too bad, so sad…but keep paying dem dues bruthas n sistas ans we’ll see y’all at the parade of states. Don’t forget your drink orders at the hospitality room and bring your pins!

  8. Although I’ve been griping for months about the politicians’ inability to take action, it’s so weird because it just hit me that this is almost like a football or baseball game that someone wanted to ‘throw.’ Is that what’s really going on? And who is behind it? Someone is paying these people to DO NOTHING about the Postal Service and I guess the people up there in Washington will find a way to get some extra payola one way or another!

    What they always say should be done…follow the money. Whoever is really up to all this BS that’s going on (or not going on) with the USPS will surely be the one(s) who is most to gain. It’s pretty obvious that the ones who will lose the most will be the American people. The unscrupulous people who we have running our country are taking us down, leading us down the rosey path. I suppose if we were the Native Americans and the politicans were Custer, then it would be a similar type of scenario to what is happening today. If they could lie to us (like they have been) and force us to go into the ‘land of the unknown,’ then they can own the land and all the benefits that go along with that and we will be marginalized at the ends of the earth, a second thought on their parts.




  10. Right size the USPS and it will move on. Eliminate carrier workhours and vehicle-fuel cost by eliminating Sat. delivery as this is a wasted cost delivering advertising-junk mail on Sat.. Most Americans question Sat. delivery as it basically has no impact on individual or business communication. Small/neighborhood post offices within 5-6 miles of each other and a high level in the town surrounding them serve no postal purpose in maintaining existence. Due to changing demographics some of these once need small officies served a postal and had a need in the 1950s. Many of these officies are now within the city limits that have the high level 20-22 levels with finance station with in 2.5 mile of an office that has has a box section and serves no purpose as the community surrounding are served by city and rural routes. Postmaster salaries range from $56,000 to $72,000 for offices within 5 miles of the high level office. Nation wide this a wasted cost. There maybe exceptions in some areas of the country where community is 35-40 miles from a town with a high level office and no surrounding community offices within a 20 mile radius. Many of these small community officies should have been closed years ago but politicans paid the price for votes for reelection. USPS should concentrate on increasing market share for parcel delivery as this is a growing market as online shopping increases. Business model could employ methods used by UPS and FED X as these firms must operate cost effective to increase revenue and reduce cost to increasing earning that affect stock share price. USPS delivers parcel for UPS that are not cost effective as USPS provides delivery to all areas and UPS considers cost factor as to least cost. USPS and UPS could merge as to parcel delivery as USPS covers all areas in delivering sale adverisements -junk mail which is high cost with low revenue. Property and buildings not being used as costeffective operations sites should be sold. VERA is a must to reduce employee workhours and costly benefits. Headquarters staffing must be reduced to reduce high dollar salary; postmaster numbers reduced by eliminating small congested area of small post officies. Overtime in city delivery operations is rampant. Work 10 hrs. day 6 days a week. Damn good money but a waste unless awaiting a 5 delivery day work week.. Teams from district offices visting officies to check on cell phone and seatbelt use by carriers. Costly process as local supervisors could give safety talks and randomn street supervision. Individuals from district come to officie and count flats to determine a cost factor to machine sequence flats. Many teams from district end results accompolish zero results that only result in travel and employee district cost.
    .Grievances are ignored by office management and move to district level and in
    most cases could have been settled at local level with less cost.

  11. it seems clear to me that the republicans didn’t advance their bill because they have bigger, more sinister plans in mind. after the elections the republicans will make a play to privatize the u s postal service. they will be driven by greed and their hatred of unions and their workers. the republicans have their eyes on raiding the billions and billions and billions of dollars in overfunded pension and healthcare funds at the u s post office. and if they are successful at their privatizing gimick, they will also have destroyed three large unions, i believe the apwu being the largest in members in the united states. the republicans will try to sell their sinister plan to the american public by claiming they are downsizing gov’t and saving money. of course, that will be a lie but the republicans won’t mention that a for-profit company means the end of affordable delivery for rural folks. this is why the republicans sinister plan wil ultimately fail. simply put, their is nothing positive in their plan for the american public. the average citizen will see the negatives of increased costs to them and their simply isn’t any benefit for the postal customer for the republicans to promote. that being said, the plan will fail because in the end the politicians desire to retain their job will trump their hatred of the unions and their greedy desire to grab the billions and raid the pension funds. hopefully, the plan will ultimately fail. hold on to your seat, it’s going to be a wild ride!

  12. i don’t trust none of these slimey politicians. i’m still hoping
    incompetent donahoe shuts the postal service down when
    it runs out of operating cash. in fact, i would like to see him
    use all available money to pay what he could of the
    ridiculous prefunding mandate then announce that the
    post office was ceasing operations as of this date in august of
    this year, 2012. only a day or two would go by before our
    lazy, inept politicians put together a plan/bill to keep the mail flowing. there
    simply is no way the u s economy could take the negative impact of no
    u s mail flowing. someday maybe the mail could stop without a catastrophic
    effect on the economy…that day is not today. SHUT IT DOWN DONAHOE, YOU SPINELESS BUREAUCRAT!!!!

  13. Where is the great leader Obama? If he doesn’t step forward and help, I guess there really is no point in voting for him.

  14. Forked tongued Collins and Liebermann continue to REQUIRE the USPS to OVERPAY their FUTURE obligations and want the House to pass HR2309 which INSTITUTIONALIZES the destruction of the Postal Service, benefits for it’s surviving employees, and permanent structural changes to the Postal Service…..

    Our Congress is a MYOPIC JOKE ….

  15. Once again the Republican led house has demostrated that it don’t give a damn about the postal service i truely hope everybody take into consideration when you vote in november to vote out those responsible especially if you have years to go before you retire! AS for me i am out in december one way or the other.

  16. the byline for this article is “postal ” . Who is Postal? In the next to last paragraph, the ” It is important to note that the postal service has reported deficits” .is totally inaccurate. The Postal Service would have reported a small PROFIT without the PAEA. Again, who is writing these articles?

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