Senate committee reports out S. 1486, 9 to 1
Feb. 6, 2014—The Senate committee with Postal Service oversight, the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, finished on Feb. 6 its mark-up of the modified Carper-Coburn postal bill, S. 1486, and approved the measure by a vote of 9 to 1.
As written, S. 1486 would facilitate the end of door delivery and the elimination of Saturday delivery, thereby destroying tens of thousands of letter carrier jobs. It also would jeopardize the Postal Service’s comeback by slowing service and driving away business.
NALC President Fredric Rolando has issued the following statement on today's Senate committee action:
If the full Senate considers postal legislation, it should be in the form of a manager’s amendment that focuses on solutions to the real issues facing the Postal Service—pre-funding, pricing, new products and pension surpluses.
Unnecessary and damaging attacks on the Postal Service’s vital networks and its employees—such as those unfortunately included in S. 1486—would only send the USPS on a downward trajectory.
In restoring financial stability to the USPS, it is critical to remember this fact: The Postal Service is now running an operating profit—$623 million last year and $1.1 billion projected by USPS for this year—and so it makes no sense to degrade the networks and employees responsible for this profit. The congressional mandate to pre-fund future retiree health benefits, required of no other business or agency, accounts for 100 percent of the red ink.
Paving the way for eliminating six-day delivery and door-to-door service would hurt millions of residents and small businesses as well as the Postal Service itself, because it would slow service, drive mail out of the system and reduce the earned revenue that funds USPS.
The postal turnaround is being driven by an improving economy and by online shopping that has sent package revenues to record highs. Lawmakers should not stop the resulting postal comeback in its tracks by needlessly degrading the networks and reducing the services that are making the USPS operationally profitable. That is the fatal flaw in S. 1486.