Government affairs

News & updates

Legislative Update, March 18, 2017

House committee advances 2 postal bills; White House releases FY2018 budget; House considers repeal, replacement of ACA; Bills introduced: Social Security Fairness Act, ‘official time,’ paid parental leave; Resolutions update; Get the NALC Member App

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Department of Labor nominee update

This week the White House withdrew Andrew Puzder, who was nominated to serve as Secretary of the Department of Labor, and announced a new nominee, Alexander Acosta.

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Tell Congress: Stop the SEC from going paperless

Act now to preserve paper-based options to keep shareholder reports available to the 1/3 of all Americans who lack access to broadband internet service while putting more mail in a letter carrier’s satchel.

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Legislative Update, Feb. 11, 2017

NALC President Fredric Rolando testifies about postal legislation before House committee; Bipartisan postal reform bills introduced by Reps. Chaffetz and Lynch; Postal reform update: A changed political landscape requires a new strategy; House Oversight Committee holds hearing to discuss plan for 115th Congress; Rep. Loudermilk’s MERIT Act would remove workplace due process rights; Bill tracker (H.Res. 15, H.Res. 28 and H.Res. 31)

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Bipartisan postal reform bills reintroduced

Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Stephen Lynch (D-MA) have reintroduced postal bills similar to ones introduced in the 114th Congress. NALC President Fredric Rolando has been invited to a Feb. 7 House committee hearing on both bills.

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Legislative Update, Jan. 28, 2017

Pres. Rolando’s statement to NALC members on Trump’s federal hiring freeze; 100+ lawmakers urge Trump to reconsider hiring freeze; Action needed: Tell your representative to oppose the PAGE Act; Anti-fed bill introduced; mark-up scheduled; Anti-labor proposals advance in four states; State action on anti-labor state proposals; Congress approves budget resolution, paving way for Obamacare repeal; Obama signs Veterans Tax Fairness Act into law; Numerous bills affecting veterans already introduced in 115th Congress; Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act reintroduced; Bill tracker.

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Anti-fed bill introduced; mark-up scheduled

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) has introduced the Tax Accountability Act of 2017, which would prevent individuals with federal tax liability ineligible for federal employment. Chaffetz’ committee has scheduled the measure for mark-up on Jan. 31.

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Action needed: Tell your representative to oppose the PAGE Act

Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN) is preparing to introduce the Promote Accountability and Government Efficiency (PAGE) Act, a proposal that calls for taking away newly hired federal employees’ union representation and grant political appointees overseeing federal agencies the power to terminate, demote and discipline workers’ for “good reason, bad reason, or no reason.”

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Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act reintroduced

On Jan. 9, Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) reintroduced the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act (S. 63), a bill designed to prevent the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from regulating many American Indian gaming casinos, a move that would strip the collective-bargaining rights of more than 628,000 tribal casino workers.

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Obama signs Veterans Tax Fairness Act into law

On Dec. 16, President Obama signed into law the Combat-Injured Veterans Tax Fairness Act. It directs the Department of Defense to restore nearly $78 million in improper tax withholdings from individuals separated from service due to combat-related injuries.

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Legislative Update, Jan. 9, 2017

115th Congress convenes; Your guide to activism in the 115th Congress; Five immediate threats to federal employees in 2017; State legislatures prepare to begin sessions; Three postal resolutions reintroduced

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Service standards resolution reintroduced in the House

Reps. David McKinley (R-WV), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Don Young (R-AK) Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), Richard Nolan (D-MN), David Joyce (R-OH) and Linda Sanchez (D-CA) have reintroduced their resolution to maintain service standards, H.Res. 31.

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115th Congress convenes

On Jan. 3, the House of Representatives and the Senate both convened for the first session of the 115th Congress, and the 535 lawmakers from both chambers were sworn-in.

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Five immediate threats to federal employees in 2017

With Congress and the White House in Republican control, the GOP is preparing to pursue an aggressive agenda against federal employees during the 115th Congress. Fortunately, NALC will be playing a larger role in the Federal-Postal Coalition.

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Legislative Update, Dec. 13, 2016

114th Congress ‘unofficially’ adjourns; Postal reform in the 115th Congress; Congress passes short-term funding thru April; Legislative and political department updates; Secure mail initiative; Medicare ‘hold harmless’ bill

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Postal reform in the 115th Congress

Although the 114th Congress did not take up postal reform before the end of the year, the NALC Legislative & Political Affairs Department is preparing to hit the ground running when lawmakers return to Washington on Jan. 3 to begin the 115th Congress.

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114th Congress "unofficially" adjourns

While the House and Senate have concluded the 114th Congress’ business, both chambers remain in “pro-forma” session until Jan. 3 to prevent any lame-duck appointments.

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Congress passes short-term funding thru April

Late on Dec. 9, Congress approved a short-term continuing resolution (CR), H.R. 2028, to fund the government through April 28. The measure extends current 2016 funding levels and includes an across-the-board 0.5 percent spending reduction to stay within limits for discretionary spending (a $1.067 trillion limit).

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Legislative and political department updates

Under the NALC Constitution, new Executive Vice President Renfroe's responsibilities include oversight of NALC's Dept. of Legislative and Political Affairs. Also, Corey Miller joins the department as legislative and political assistant.

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Legislative Update, Nov. 18, 2016

Congress returns for ‘lame duck’ session; PRC nominees advance in Senate; Make-up of the 115th Congress; Leadership of 115th Congress begins to take shape; Senators up for re-election in 2018; Get the NALC Member App; Action Alert; Resolution Tracker

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Make-up of the 115th Congress

As the 114th Congress comes to a close following an intense election cycle, we can now glean what the next Congress will look like.

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PRC nominees advance in Senate

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has approved the re-appointment of the Robert Taub and Mark Acton as commissioners of the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC).

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Legislative Update, Oct. 1, 2016

Door delivery resolution gains House majority—don’t let up; Rolando urges letter carriers: Verify voter registration, vote early; Prepare for Election Day; Congress departs DC until after elections; Help elect pro-labor candidates

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Prepare for Election Day

In addition to electing our next president, soon we will be voting for members of Congress, and for state and local leaders. These will have a direct impact on your life and determine the future for our families, for USPS and for every American.

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Senate Finance Committee approves mine workers bill

On Sept. 21, the Senate Finance Committee unanimously passed the Miners Protection Act, which calls for ensuring that the federal government and coal operators honor their obligation of lifetime pension and health benefits to more than 22,000 retired mine workers and their families,

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WEP reform bill stalls in committee

This week, the House Ways and Means Committee was scheduled to consider the Equal Treatment for Public Servants Act (H.R. 711), which calls for reducing the penalty to 50 percent for Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)-affected federal employees.

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House passes spending bill maintaining six-day provision

The House has voted 239-185 to approve a $21.7 billion Fiscal Year 2017 Financial Services and General Government spending package. In another major victory for the NALC, the measure preserved longstanding language continuing six-day mail delivery.

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House passes package attacking federal employee rights

On July 7, the U.S. House of Representatives approved Rep. Gary Palmer’s (R-AL) “Government Reform and Improvement Act” (H.R. 4361), a package of several bills granting agency heads increased authority to undermine the rights and due process of federal employees.

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What’s on Congress’ agenda until July 16?

With the remaining legislative days that Congress has left in Washington—before members return to their districts to focus on re-election campaigns—there are several “must do” items to accomplish before anyone boards a plane home.

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FY 2017 appropriations: Where are we now?

Every year, NALC lobbies Congress to ensure resolutions that support our issues are included as spending packages move forward. This year’s appropriations process, however, is significantly more different than ever before.

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PA activists visit DC for lobby day

Activists from the Pennsylvania state association headed to Capitol Hill today to talk about the issues most important to letter carriers with their members of Congress.

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What’s happening next week?

As the House and Senate prepare to return to Washington after their March recess, members will return to a busy legislative agenda amidst appropriations season.

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California and Utah advance CRI proposals

A bill recently introduced into the California legislature seeks to understand how USPS may be able to assist the state in its emergency response. A similar study was approved by Utah’s state senate in February.

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What’s happening this recess?

While members of Congress attend events and meet with constituents in their districts, recess is the perfect time to reach out to your representatives and remind them about important postal resolutions.

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Appropriations season and NALC-supported resolutions

Congress is marking up bills to pass the federal budget for the fiscal year 2016-2017. NALC activists are working hard to educate representatives why 3 postal resolutions continue to be important to customers and businesses across the country.

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Exigency expiration: what does it mean?

The increase was promoted as a way to help USPS recover from the effects of the Great Recession. Its expiration is expected to cost the agency $2 billion in lost revenue annually.

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The future of working families

The AFL-CIO’s executive council met recently and approved four statements designed to set a blueprint for how organized labor should move forward when working with legislators on crafting public policy.

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White House releases FY2017 budget request

We take a first look at President Obama’s Fiscal year 2017 budget request, especially as it relates to USPS, workers’ comp, federal employees and cybersecurity—with a look at the next steps to expect.

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Rep. Richmond’s POSTAL Act

Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) has reintroduced a bill that calls for allowing the U.S. Postal Service to offer basic financial services.

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A board of ‘governor’

The terms of two USPS Board of Governors members officially expired on Dec. 8, leaving a board that is supposed to have nine Senate-confirmed members with just one.

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Veterans Identification Card Act signed into law

The Veterans Identification Card Act, which takes effect in 2017, directs the VA to issue an identification card to a requesting veteran who is neither entitled to military retired pay nor enrolled in the VA system of patient enrollment.

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Senate votes to gut Obamacare...again

On Thursday, the Senate passed the Restoring Americans' Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act (H.R. 3762), a budget reconciliation bill aimed at repealing significant portions of the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

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New postal reform fact sheet

Congress is working on a lot of non-postal business lately, but it still needs to know the NALC’s priorities when it comes to promoting legislation that supports a strong Postal Service and its universal network of affordable service.

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Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act of 2015

President Obama has signed into law the Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act, providing federal employees who are also disabled military veterans leave time that will allow them to seek medical treatment for service-related disabilities, separate from traditional sick and annual leave.

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This week in Congress, Oct. 19-23

It’s been a very busy week on Capitol Hill as Congress tackles its fall agenda. Check out the latest hot topics on the Hill to see what is happening.

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Postal reform status

Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) has introduced S. 2051, the iPost Act. It’s a starting point for a conversation and for potential changes to the bill. One question that NALC members may have is: Where do we go from here?

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Carper introduces iPost Act

Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) has introduced the iPost Act. NALC President Fredric Rolando released a statement regarding the bill. Include NALC’s summary and analysis.

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Senate introduces bill to repeal excise tax

Sens. Dean Heller (R-NV) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) have introduced the Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act, to repeal the excise tax on high-cost health insurance plans scheduled to take effect in 2018.

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Worker protections act introduced in House, Senate

On Sept. 16, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the Workplace Action for a Growing Economy (WAGE) Act, a bill that aims to strengthen the protections for workers who band together and to ensure that corporations that violate workers’ rights face real-life consequences.

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In-district recess activity

When Congress returns to DC in September, we may see the introduction of postal reform legislation in both chambers. This means we must continue to educate and engage members of Congress on what is important to NALC members.

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Senate committee preserves 6-day appropriations language

Today, the Senate Appropriations Committee advanced its Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) legislation. The committee included “provisions in the bill to ensure that mail for overseas voting and mail for the blind continues to be free; that 6-day delivery and rural delivery of mail shall continue without reduction; and that none of the funds provided be used to consolidate or close small rural and other small post offices in fiscal year 2016.”

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In other OGR news…

Today, the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee passed a series of bipartisan bills designed to increase government accountability and efficiency.

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Federal employee payfor on Highway Trust Fund rejected

A coalition of postal and federal employees scored a major victory when the Senate rejected a proposal that sought to cut the interest rate paid to investors inside the Thrift Savings Plan’s G Fund as a potential payfor on the Highway Trust Fund.

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Garden State activists hit the Hill

More than 100 letter carrier activists from New Jersey arrived in DC this week to advocate on behalf of letter carriers in preparation for upcoming postal reform legislation in the House and Senate.

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Fast Track update

Following lots of twists and turns in the debate over how to consider Fast Track and related bills, it seems that the Senate is off and running in how it will consider Trade Promotion Authority—and what it will take to get it across the finish line in the Senate.

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In budget news…

For the first time in five years, the House and Senate agreed to a joint budget resolution, a blueprint for House and Senate Committees working on individual appropriations measures.

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Bill to modernize LLVs introduced

On April 22, Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) introduced H.R.1963, the Federal Leadership in Energy & Efficient Transportation (FLEET) Act. The bill seeks to modernize the Postal Service’s fleet of aging Long Life Vehicles (LLVs).

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NALC and Coalition to Stop Fast Track air TV spot

The Coalition to Stop Fast Track, of which NALC is a member, has created its first advertisement opposing giving President Obama Fast Track authority, and plans to air the spot in Washington, DC and in targeted districts through the next week.

You can see the spot below.

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Congress introduces fast track legislation

"Fast Track" trade promotion was introduced Thursday on Capitol Hill. NALC strongly opposes the measure—it would take away much of Congress’ role in trade negotiations, and it could threaten the U.S. Postal Service and letter carrier jobs.

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Issa re-introduces his door delivery reduction bill

Rep. Darrell Issa has introduced a bill to require USPS to eliminate door delivery for 15 million addresses by forcing 1.5 million households and businesses to convert from door delivery to curbside or cluster boxes every year over the next 10 years.

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H.Res. 30 to H.Res. 12: Where are they now?

In the House, 150 members stand with us on a resolution to preserve six-day mail delivery. However, we have done some digging and found that some of NALC’s old friends are missing from the list of co-sponsors.

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Automatic voter registration now the law in Oregon

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown this week signed into law the state’s new “motor voter” bill, designed to use the secure Postal Service delivery network to remove barriers to voter registration and to make it as easy as possible for eligible Oregonians to receive a ballot.

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Battles in the states

Working families continue to face attacks on numerous fronts. Some of the biggest struggles these families encounter take place in state capitals, where legislators and governors set the agendas.

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New bill aims to repeal Social Security penalties

Last month, Reps. Rodney Davis (R-IL) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) introduced the Social Security Fairness Act (H.R. 973), a bill that calls for repealing provisions in current law that reduce Social Security benefits of annuitants who have paid their fair share through their years of public service.

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FY 2016 appropriations season begins

With the announcement of the administration’s FY 2016 budget request earlier this month, lawmakers will now set their sights on consideration of 12 annual appropriations bills to fund each agency beginning Oct. 1, 2015.

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Obama administration releases FY 2016 budget

Although NALC is encouraged that the new budget again mandates continuation of six-day mail delivery, we’re deeply disappointed that the budget embraces a doomed business strategy devised in the midst of the Great Recession.

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NALC Legislative Update: Jan. 30, 2015

Service standards resolution; Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act; Paid parental leave bill; House OGR committee/subcommittee updates; Boozeman named Senate FSGG chairman; Build early support for resolutions; Fact sheets; Coming up

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Boozeman named FSGG chairman

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS) has announced that Sen. John Boozeman (R-AR) will take over the helm of the Committee on Appropriations’ Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government (FSGG).

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House OGR committee/subcommittee updates

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held its first organization meeting to iron out committee business and determine order and operations for the committee during the 114th Congress. The first order of business for the committee was officially announcing new committee members.

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Paid parental leave bill introduced in House

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) has introduced the Federal Employee Paid Parental Leave Act (H. R. 532), legislation that would give both male and female federal workers six weeks of paid leave after the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child.

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Six-day mail delivery reintroduced

Once the 114th Congress was sworn in, in the House of Representatives Reps. Sam Graves (R-MO) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA) wasted no time in renewing their commitment to preserving six-day mail delivery by quickly introducing H.Res. 12.

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Door delivery reintroduced

Reps. Susan Davis (D-CA), David Joyce (R-OH) and Peter King (R-NY) are reintroducing their door-delivery resolution for the 114th Congress.

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113th Congress adjourns

Following passage of the Fiscal Year 2015 funding bill (H.R. 83) and a $41.6 billion temporary tax extenders package, and ending with Senate consideration of some pending nominations, both the House and Senate adjourned this week.

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Senate introduces companion ‘wounded warriors’ act

On Dec. 11, Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) introduced S. 3001, the Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act, which seeks to provide first-year federal workers with service-related disabilities 104 hours of sick leave to use for medical visits.

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Lame-duck agenda

On Thursday, Congress recessed for the Thanksgiving holiday and will return on Dec. 1 to tackle outstanding legislative business, primarily funding the government beyond Dec. 12.

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In other related news…

The proposal to close and consolidate 82 mail-processing facilities in 37 states continues to attract the ire of Congress.

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Door delivery resolution

As a reminder, please continue to urge your House member to sign on as a co-sponsor to H. Res. 711, if he or she has not already signed on.

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Postal banking bill introduced in House

On July 15, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) introduced the Providing Opportunities for Savings, Transactions and Lending Act (POSTAL) Act, H.R. 5179, to allow USPS to offer basic financial services.

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‘Wounded warriors’ bill introduced in House

If passed, this bill would give newly hired postal and federal employees who are also disabled veterans 104 hours of leave time to seek medical treatment for their service-related disabilities during their first year in the workforce.

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6-day language in House and Senate appropriations bills

On Wednesday, the language mandating six-day mail delivery—intentionally left out of the draft version of the House Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government’s Fiscal Year 2015 spending bill—was successfully reinserted into the measure.

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Shakeup in House leadership

On Thursday, House Republicans elected Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to become the new House majority leader, replacing Eric Cantor (R-VA), who unexpectedly lost his House seat in the Virginia GOP primary.

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Highway Trust Fund update

While the House was in recess this week, the noise surrounding temporarily financing the Highway Trust Fund through the elimination of six-day mail delivery hit a fever pitch.

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Appropriations update

Unfortunately, the attack on six-day delivery is not limited to the Highway Trust Fund or pending postal reform legislation. A House committee is working behind the scenes to draft an appropriations bill.

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HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE HOLDS INNOVATION HEARING

On Thursday, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and the Census held a hearing titled “Examining Innovative Postal Products for the 21st Century.”

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SENATE ADVANCES TAX DELINQUENCY BILL

On Wednesday, the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee approved legislation (S. 1045) that would allow for the termination of federal employees and postal employees who are seriously delinquent on their tax debt.

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UPDATE ON SOMBROTTO POST OFFICE DESIGNATION

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee was scheduled to take up a package of postal designation bills on Wednesday, including H.R. 2291, the "Vincent R. Sombrotto Post Office.”

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VINCENT SOMBROTTO POST OFFICE NAMING

As you may know, H.R. 2291 was introduced by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) last year to designate the New York City Post Office located at 450 Lexington Avenue in New York City as the "Vincent R. Sombrotto Post Office.”

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Recess

Next week, the House will recess for an in-district work period and return to D.C. on May 19. The Senate will remain in session and break for the Memorial Day recess from May 26 through May 31.

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Budget discussions continue in the House

This week, there was a fair amount of independent activity surrounding various Fiscal Year 2015 budgets proposals—from the House Republicans’ budget to an in-depth hearing on the Obama administration’s budget, it’s been a busy week on Capitol Hill.

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Recess call to action

The congressional recess is an ideal time for NALC members to remind our representatives not to support any legislation that reduces mail delivery service, damages USPS’ networks, and does not fix the requirement to pre-fund retiree health benefits.

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