It appears likely that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will conduct a vote on a new bill authored by Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) on Wednesday afternoon, May 7. The most recent draft of the bill is very similar to the postal proposal included in President Obama’s fiscal year 2015 budget. The bill would permit the USPS to move to 5-day letter mail delivery, encourage the USPS to convert door delivery to curbside and centralized delivery, put into law the current POStPlan process, permanently extend the 4.3% exigent postage increase, recalculate the USPS pension liability using postal-specific data, refund to the USPS its Federal Employee Retirement System overpayment in 2 annual installments, restructure its retiree health premium pre-funding payments, and promote state and local partnerships. Based on a cursory review of the Issa draft, it appears to differ from the White House proposal by requiring the USPS to make a 50% payment of its retiree health liability in 2015 and 2015, $2.85 billion and $2.9 billion; the President’s proposal waives the 2015 and 2016 payments.
In addition to being very similar to the President’s plan, the bill overlaps with provisions in S. 1486, the Carper-Coburn postal bill. All this being said, it remains to be seen whether Issa embracing Obama’s postal proposal will garner any Democrat votes. Also, it is unclear whether the chairman can persuade GOP members of the committee to withhold, or vote against amendments that distance the bill from the President’s proposal.