Still Waiting on Congress

A guest blog by VOCAL RCA

While Congress is on a five-week vacation, the United States Postal Service waits to see if postal reform will finally be enacted this year.

Congressman Darrell Issa has already passed his postal reform bill, H.R. 2748, through a committee vote on July 24th. Now Senators Tom Carper and Tom Coburn have introduced their postal reform bill, S. 1486, a watered down version of last years’ S. 1789. The newer Senate version, along with H.R. 2748, are both meant to go before the House and the Senate for passage in a few weeks. Unfortunately, both bills have been criticized immensely, by postal unions, for hurting the Postal Service and not helping the failing agency. Both bills look to get rid of Saturday delivery, dismantle door to door delivery and reducing the workforce drastically, at the Postal Service. Although Senators Tom Carper and Tom Coburn have both admitted that their bill is “a work in progress”, it seems unlikely enough positive changes, to garner bipartisanship support, to either bill will be made in time before September 30th, the end of the fiscal year for the Postal Service. Many Democratic and Independent senators, such as Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, have already stated that they will not support either bill.

Both bills are entitled “postal reform” in some shape or form but the language in both bills look to dismantle the 237 year-old company. By eliminating door to door delivery, customers will become increasingly dissatisfied with the Postal Service and will seek other shipping alternatives. The end of Saturday delivery will have the same effect. Those in Congress have proposed the same ideas time and time again. Cuts, lower wages and cheating the American people out of affordable nationwide shipping, are the only ideas Congress has focused on. Ridding the Postal Service out its’ current financial obligation to pay for 50 or more years, of health benefits, is the main focus that Congress should work on. After they compromise with those payments then they should come up with ideas that will enhance and strengthen the company, and not try to kill it.

Postal unions have voiced their opinion on the current bills in play. The unions have also paid for advertisements to educate the American people on the true reason the Postal Service is losing “$25 million every day”. With only 52 days until September 30, the reported day that the Postal Service runs out of funds to operate, the postal unions need to seek an alternative measure that will truly catch the attention of everyone in Washington-STRIKE! Postal workers in the United Kingdom have enacted several one-day strikes to avoid privatization of the Royal Mail, and plan to strike again in September. The time for action is now! Congress will do one of two things in the next few weeks, destroy the United States Postal Service, or nothing, avoiding the problem altogether.

Vocal RCA is a Rural Carrier Associate

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