July Postal Reform Update
Here’s an update from our CEO Tim Johnson:
It is time for the House and Senate to start negotiating postal reform
Last week’s postal news from Washington was not good. It appears that the House will likely not vote before the August recess on a postal bill. The Senate passed its own postal reform bill in April, and they’re waiting to negotiate a compromise bill with the House. I fully acknowledge that the proposed House bill and the Senate bill are widely different but ‘widely different’ does not mean ‘impossible to compromise.’ Delay only seems to reduce the chance of lawmakers coming together on an effective postal reform package. The USPS business model is broken. The Postal Service will lose billions of dollars this year; furthermore, it owes $11 billion, in two separate installments, over the next two and a half months in prepayments for retiree health care. Delay does no good.
No one I know who is in the USPS or Washington or in the industry is afraid of postal service disruption this year, but time is working against the USPS. Eventually these issues will be addressed; almost no one believes that Congress will let the USPS fail. New USPS legislation is something Congress can’t afford to not do. November elections are less than four months away. Postponement, would mean that final negotiations will likely spill over into the lame-duck session after the election. My concern is that work in the lame duck will center on the so called, “fiscal cliff,” and postal reform will be tacked on to a big, it-has-to-pass bill at the end of the year. Pushing important new legislation through that way seldom improves the quality of that legislation. It is time for the two chambers to start negotiating.