Thursday, July 18, 2013

Lawmakers find some common ground on reforming Postal Service, but not on Saturday mail

Darrel Issa
The Republican chairman and top Democrat on the House committee writing a postal-reform bill are finding some common ground but are still at loggerheads over the Postal Service's wish to limit Saturday mail delivery to packages.

Rep. Darrell Issa of California, "said Wednesday that he’ll strike language to force labor unions to open existing contracts and eliminate no-layoff rules," Lisa Rein reports for The Washington Post. Issa and Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, also agreed to repeal a law that forces the service to pay future health-care costs for retirees in advance, a change that should reduce expenses for current and future retiree benefits "by between $2 billion and $5 billion, from $8.5 billion, committee aides said."

Elijah Cummings
Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe also wants to eliminating Saturday delivery of letters and magazines. That "would save $2 billion a year, but the move is opposed by unions, many lawmakers representing rural districts, and some private mailers," Rein reports. "Issa is calling for five-day delivery and a halt to curbside mail delivery in favor of clustered boxes on street corners, a change he says could save at least $4 billion annually. . . . Cummings, who introduced his own bill Wednesday, opposes both changes because they would cost jobs." (Read more)

Donahoe told the committee, “We need a bridge that gets us all the way to the other side. Half measures are about as useful as half a bridge. We need legislation that, together with our planned changes, confidently enables at least $20 billion in savings by 2016. If not, we go over the edge.” (Read more)

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