May 20, 2014
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has not been able to garner support for his extreme and anti-worker postal reform bill, H.R. 2748. As such, he has adopted a new strategy. He is now is attempting to move his dangerous postal reforms piece by piece.
Issa’s first move in this strategy was to hold a hearing on April 8th with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on the subject of the Obama Administration’s proposed budget. Since 2011, the Administration’s budget has included provisions damaging to postal workers like permission to go to 5-day delivery, cluster boxes and amortized prefunding of retiree healthcare for 40 years.
During the April 8th hearing, labor allies including Ranking Member Cummings (D-MD), Rep. Lynch (D-MA), Rep. Connolly (D-VA), Rep. Welch (D-VT) and Rep. Duckworth (D-IL) came to the defense of the American people and postal workers, derailing Issa’s attempt to paint the disastrous items in the Administration’s budget as bipartisan. Further, the OMB Deputy Director admitted under questioning that the OMB did not fact check the USPS’s bogus claims of savings, relied on misleading accounting methods, and failed to consult the Postal Regulatory Commission to evaluate USPS’s numbers.
Undeterred, Issa scheduled a May 7th markup of a draft bill he titled The Administration’s Postal Reform Bill of 2014. In this draft were all the terrible items in the Administration’s budget plus mandatory cluster boxes and mandatory 5-day delivery among other tweaks. Unfortunately for Issa, his markup was postponed due to lack of support, as Democrats on the committee wanted no part of his bill.
Now, Issa is at it again! On the morning of May 21st, the full committee will mark up a “door-to-door delivery bill” currently being drafted by Issa’s staff. This bill will likely mirror provisions in Issa’s H.R. 2478 with some changes. On May 22nd, the postal subcommittee will hold a hearing on innovative technologies. Witnesses include: USPS, Stamps.com, Outbox and Impact Systems.
The APWU will continue to monitor these hearings as well as any other developments. Please look forward for further updates.