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Rolando testifies before House committee (updated)

On Feb. 7, NALC President Fredric Rolando testified before a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing titled, “Accomplishing Postal Reform in the 115th Congress.” (Watch his testimony at right.)

Also testifying at the hearing were Postmaster General Megan Brennan, Postal Regulatory Commission Chairman Robert Taub, Government Accountability Office Director of Physical Infrastructure Issues Lori Rectanus and Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service Manager Art Sackler.

The hearing focused on the Postal Service Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 756), which was co-sponsored by Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD); Subcommittee on Government Operations Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Ranking Member Gerry Connolly (D-VA); and Oversight Committee members Stephen Lynch (D-MA) and Dennis Ross (R-FL).

The hearing also touched on the Postal Service Financial Improvement Act (H.R. 760), introduced by Reps. Lynch and David McKinley (R-WV).

Both bills were introduced last week.

News media coverage of the hearing

President Rolando’s congressional testimony sparked a variety of media coverage, and many outlets quoted the president.

During his testimony, President Rolando commended the committee for “setting a standard of bipartisan cooperation” and signaled broad support for the bill across the mailing industry, including among business and labor stakeholders.

Testifying on behalf of all four postal employee unions (NALC as well as the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, the American Postal Workers Union and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union), Rolando said that a broad coalition of stakeholders believes that the two bills have the essential elements needed to stabilize and fortify the Postal Service for years to come.

In addition, the president said that H.R. 756 and H.R. 760 deal with “two core issues that must be addressed: the unaffordable pre-funding mandate and the expiration of the exigent increase.

“All four postal unions urge the committee to adopt this legislation,” Rolando said.

Recognizing the bipartisan manner in which the bill came together, Cummings complimented the stakeholders.

“You all have got to help us get the ball over the line,” Cummings said. “I have not seen unions work so hard to try to come up with solutions anywhere other than the postal unions. We could not have done this—and I’m sure everyone up here agrees—without the unions. I really thank you.”

When asked later for clarification about the four employee unions’ level of support, Rolando reiterated the unions’ continued commitment to working with the committee and stakeholders to move a positive postal bill forward.

“All four unions support this bill,” he said. “We mentioned two tweaks in the written testimony that we thought would be helpful. [We] support this bill coming out of committee.  We’ve got our members covered.”

A mark-up session for both H.R. 756 and H.R. 760 is expected to take place later this month. Such a session allows committee members to add, amend or delete provisions in the bill. If the bill is approved by the committee, it is expected to be referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce for review and possible mark-ups.

The House and the Senate must reach consensus on a bill, and both must approve it, before it can be sent to the president to be signed into law.

Read President Rolando’s submitted written testimony here.