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Postal legislation stalls in House

May. 7, 2014 - 04:46PM   |  
By ANDY MEDICI   |   Comments

Legislation to reform the Postal Service has suffered another setback.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, canceled a May 7 vote on his Postal Service reform legislation because of a lack of Democratic support.

“I am deeply concerned that special interest groups are attempting to sabotage support for the president’s proposal, even amongst his own party, and push the Postal Service closer to a taxpayer-funded bailout,” he said.

The legislation would give the Postal Service the ability to end Saturday letter delivery, but it requires there could never be more than two days in a row without mail delivery.

It would also allow the Postal Service to consolidate home and business mail boxes into more centralized locations as well as identify underused post offices for closure.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the ranking member of the committee, said any postal bill should be bipartisan and dozens of Republicans and Democrats oppose the move to five-day delivery.

“I sincerely hope that we will be able to adopt a consensus bill that every member of our committee can support,” Cummings said.

The bill would also:

■ Refund half of the surplus of funds the Postal Service has paid into the Federal Employee Retirement System – potentially up to $500 million.

■ Cut by more than half the amount the Postal Service would have to prepay into its retiree health benefits in fiscal 2015 and 2016 – to about $2.9 billion - before reverting back to its regular payment schedule.

■ Make the current 4.3 percent rate increase on certain postal products – in effect for the last two years – permanent.

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