MFSA and allies in the postal coalition met with Rep. Denis Ross on May 17. Rep. Ross is the chairman of the Federal Workforce Subcommittee which oversees the USPS and is also one of the two sponsors of HR 2309, the postal reform bill in the House. Rep. Ross told us they are expecting a vote in the House before July 4th in order to have a conference with the Senate prior to the August recess.
This is an ambitious schedule but it could all work.
As you undoubtedly are aware, Congress is a bit of a mess this year and there is little confidence that anything of significance will get done. Postal reform seems to be something of an exception. Virtually everyone puts this on the “must do” list. However, if they fail to get this done before the August recess, it could easily be delayed until the “lame duck” after the election.
The key differences in the Senate passed bill (S. 1789) and the House legislation are in the following areas:
• The House bill allows the USPS to go to five day delivery within six months while the Senate requires at least a two year delay and allows Saturday service to be eliminated only after a review of cost savings
• The House bill creates a “solvency authority” to run the USPS after two years in the event the USPS does not hit defined expense reduction targets
• The Senate bill “re-amortizes” the retiree health pre-funding requirement. The House has no similar provision.
This is the first in a series of emails we will send on the status of legislation. If you have questions, feel free to contact our lobbyist Ben Cooper of the firm Williams & Jensen at firstname.lastname@example.org.