Government affairs

Legislative Updates

In other related news…

The proposal to close and consolidate 82 mail-processing facilities in 37 states continues to attract the ire of Congress. During the August recess, 50 senators sent a letter to Senate appropriators denouncing the plan. Last week, in a major move, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) added his signature to the letter, which asks appropriators to impose a one-year moratorium on closures and consolidations to give Congress time to enact meaningful postal reform legislation.

In the House, a virtually identical letter was written by Reps. Dave Joyce (R-OH) and Ron Kind (D-WI); it ended up garnering 160 signatures from Republican and Democratic House members alike.

Last week, Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-DE) and ranking member Tom Coburn (R-OK) sent their own joint letter to Senate appropriators not just to oppose the moratorium but also, once again, to try to breathe life into their own postal bill (S. 1486), which is deservedly failing to gain the support it needs to move any further in the legislative process.

To help prevent service cuts, the four postal unions—along with the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service, which represents a broad cross-section of the mailing community—sent a letter to Senate appropriators to emphasize that both business leaders and labor unions are opposed to S. 1486 and that an alternative approach that maintains service standards and preserves services and jobs is possible.

While the requested moratorium language on closings and consolidations is not being considered as part of a short-term CR, discussions on that subject will continue as Congress discusses a long-term CR, which is expected to be approved during the lame-duck session in December. As talks about postal reform continue with Congress and among the business and labor communities, we will keep you posted.

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