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July 17, 2018

 

Resolution Opposing Postal Service Privatization Introduced in House

           

            A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a resolution on Monday that would put the House of Representatives on record as opposed to privatizing the United States Postal Service. 


            The resolution proclaims that "Congress should take all appropriate measures to ensure that the United States Postal Service remains an independent establishment of the Federal Government and not subject to privatization."


            The non-binding measure was introduced by longtime postal ally Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA), along with nine Republican and Democratic lawmakers.   (A list of the resolution's cosponsors is here.)  The resolution counters the controversial stance of the Trump Administration toward privatizing the Postal Service.  On June 21, the Office of Management and Budget proposed that the Postal Service be privatized as part of a wide-ranging plan to reorganize the federal government. A task force created by President Trump to review the operations of the Postal Service, is expected to provide further privatization details when it releases its report on August 9.


            In the meantime, the House resolution serves as resistance to the drumbeat for privatization and calls for the House to take all measures to preserve the Postal Service's status as an "independent establishment of the Federal Government."  The resolution recognizes the significant role the Postal Service plays in the nation's economy and the harmful impact that privatization would bear upon consumers and the larger economy.  "[P]rivatization of the United States Postal Service would result in higher prices and reduced services ... especially in rural communities," the resolution notes.  "[It] would jeopardize the booming e-commerce sector and cripple a major part of the Nation's critical infrastructure."

 The NAPS Legislative Team

January 18, 2019

Early Bills in the 116th Congress

Early in the 116th Congress, the House and the Senate introduced a number of postal related bills and resolutions that impact the U.S. Postal Service and NAPS members.

First, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) re-introduced bipartisan legislation from the previous Congress that would provide Merit System Protection Board appeal rights to EAS level postal employees presently not afforded that right. The new bill, H.R. 597, carries the original cosponsorship of Rep. David McKinley (R-WV).

Second, three bills were introduced that would encourage certain aspects of vote-by-mail. Rep. John Sarbanes introduced H.R. 1, broad legislation that aims to increase voter participation in elections, reduce the influence of "big money" in politics, and strengthen the ethical rules for elected leaders. Among the bill's provisions is a section to promote vote-by-mail, emphasizing the expansion of "no excuse absentee ballots."  Two other bills, S. 26 and H.R. 92, introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) respectively, would also encourage states to adopt vote-by-mail elections.

Third, the new chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Service and General Government, Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL), introduced H.R. 264, legislation to, among other things, fund the Postal Regulatory Commission. The partial government shutdown forced the PRC to suspend operations on January 11, 2019.

Finally, three non-binding House Resolutions were introduced that express the "Sense of the House of Representatives" to extend and protect a variety of USPS services. H.Res. 23, introduced by Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA), expresses House support for the continuation of door mail delivery to business and residential customers. H.Res. 33, introduced by Rep. Steve Lynch (D-MA), reflects House opposition to postal privatization. H.Res. 54, introduced by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), expresses House support for the continuation of 6-day mail delivery.

Thus far, comprehensive postal reform legislation has not been introduced in either chamber.

President Trump Nominates Individuals to the Postal Board of Governors

On January 16, President Trump sent to the Senate three nominees to fill the seven current vacancies on the USPS Board of Governors. The nominees include Ramon Martinez, Ron Bloom and Calvin Tucker, who were nominated last Congress to fill the same slots, but did receive Senate confirmation. The President also re-nominated current USPS Board Chairman Robert Duncan for a term that will expire in 2025. 

The LTS and Its Vital Role

The NAPS Legislative Training Seminar (LTS) will take place in less than two months (March 10-13, 2019) with the opportunity for NAPS to promote and achieve legislative action on postal reform.  In addition, LTS delegates will educate and build relationships with over 90 new members of Congress. In addition, by mid-March, membership slots on the Congressional panels with jurisdiction over postal and federal employee benefits will be filled, and President Trump's fiscal year 2020 budget will be submitted to Congress. In that setting, LTS delegates will secure support for sensible postal reforms and defend their hard-won employee benefits.  Plan to attend the LTS; the registration portal is now open on the NAPS Website.

Listen to NAPS Chat

"NAPS Chat" is our weekly podcast that informs NAPS members about the latest legislative and political developments in Washington. Hosted by NAPS Director of Legislative and Political Affairs Bob Levi, the podcast provides NAPS members with brief updates on all that matters to EAS employees and the Postal Service. The 12th episode is posted on the NAPS Website. To listen to NAPS Chat, click here.