Responding to media reports that the U.S. House is unlikely to vote on postal reform legislation this summer, Printing Industries of America today warned of the disastrous consequences this delay would pose to the printing and graphic communications industry--and to the overall future viability of the U.S. Postal Service.
H.R. 2309, the Postal Reform Act, sponsored by House Oversight & Government Affairs Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, was approved by the committee last fall but has languished in its journey to a full House vote. Postal reform was initially included on a July “To Do” memo issued by House GOP Leadership, and a vote prior to the August recess had been expected until this week.
“Everyone knows a presidential election year means Congress stops legislating for all intents and purposes in the weeks leading up to Election Day, but that’s no excuse for letting the month of July slip by without putting substantive, ready-to-go legislation like postal reform on the House floor for a vote,” said Michael Makin, Printing Industries of America’s President & CEO.
“Perhaps the House thinks it will be ‘33rd time's a charm’ in its continual quest to repeal so-called Obamacare, but most observers know yesterday’s 33rd repeal vote--and others like it that highlight campaign themes but have zero chance of seeing the light of day in the Senate or becoming law--is pure political theater. Rather than focusing on ‘messaging votes’ to spotlight job-killing policies, the House should take a vote on legislation like H.R. 2309 that actually does something to address job creation and growth--and has a valid chance of becoming law.”
The Senate passed its version of postal reform in April and is awaiting the House-passed version in order to begin a bicameral conference to resolve differences between two bills. A delay in the House vote imperils the prospect that enough time will remain on a dwindling legislative calendar to achieve final passage of postal reform by the end of 2012. While the House could consider H.R. 2309 in September or in the post-election lame duck session, there is considerable risk that the issue could slip altogether in the face of other must-pass legislation related to the approaching “fiscal cliff.”
“The longer the House postpones a postal reform vote, the greater the chances are that nothing happens at all. Meanwhile, the U.S. Postal Service loses $25 million per day and consumer confidence in the future value of mail grows more uncertain. I support Chairman Issa’s drive to finish the job on postal reform and respectfully urge the House GOP leadership to move H.R. 2309 back to the top of this summer’s ‘must pass’ list of legislative priorities,” said Makin.
“Additionally, I urge Printing Industries of America member companies and all stakeholders in the mailing economy to urge the House not to let the critical opportunity to achieve postal reform slip away altogether. Postal reform equals jobs, plain and simple. The industry must make its collective voice heard in urging a vote on H.R. 2309 be held as soon as possible.”