Entries in U.S. Postal Service (2)


Senate Passes Postal Reform

PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Senate voted Wednesday to approve the Postal Reform Act, sending a bill to the House of Representatives that the majority of Republicans there oppose. The vote, which required 60 votes to pass, cleared the Senate 62-37. One independent and 12 Republican senators joined the Democratic majority in support of the legislation, while two Democrats opposed it.

“This is an important victory for the U.S. Postal Service, the American economy, and customers who rely on dependable and universal postal service,” Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, wrote in a statement following the vote. “Today’s vote is also a win for bipartisanship. Americans are rightly frustrated about what many feel is a dysfunctional Congress. With enormous problems facing our country and Congress having little to show by way of accomplishments, the process we’ve just completed on this bill demonstrates senators can work together.”

The Postmaster General last year agreed to delay until May 15 obligatory closings of an anticipated 3,600 post offices nationwide, in order to give Congress the opportunity to help with legislation. The bill splits the number of mail processing centers the Postal Services currently wants to close — from 252 to 125.

With that deadline less than a month away, the changes Congress make will change the face of the U.S. Postal Service and will directly affect how you get your mail and how much you pay to send it.

“The situation is not hopeless, the situation is dire,” Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., said after the vote. “My hope is that our friends over in the U.S. House, given our bipartisan steps we took this week, will feel a sense of urgency.”

Rep. Darrell Issa, the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, is moving his own version of Postal Reform through the House of Representatives. He reacted to the news of its passage by calling the Senate’s legislation “a $33 billion dollar taxpayer funded bailout.”

Connecticut independent Sen. Joe Lieberman, who helped champion the bill through the upper chamber, said that once the House passes its own bill to address postal reform, “we’ll find out where there’s compromise.”

“If House has a different way, we’ll sit down and reason together,” he said.

Collins also said she urged Issa to quickly pass his version of postal reform so that the House and Senate can get together and work out a final bill.

H.R. 2309, the Issa-Ross Postal Reform Act, would defer decisions about realigning the postal service to keep up with America’s changing use of mail.  It also mandates that USPS cut costs while directing it to consolidate excess facilities through a GAO-recommended process similar to the military base closure commission.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


With No Debt Limit Vote, House Turns to Naming Post Offices

PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Despite what some government officials have billed as a possible financial Armageddon looming four days away and with no viable deal yet reached to raise the debt ceiling, lawmakers took a break from the debt debate Thursday night and turned their attention to post offices.

Eight post office naming bills came to the House floor just two days after the U.S. Postal Service announced its plans to close nearly 3,700 post offices this year in order to deal with its $8.3 billion budget deficit.

The first naming bill debated was for a post office in Peoria, Illinois, a state which may lose more than 100 post offices within the year.  The bill would name a postal building after Charles “Chip” Lawrence Chan, who worked in the World Trade Center and was killed in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack.

Another bill was to name a post office in Pasadena, California the “First Lieutenant Oliver Goodall Post Office Building," in honor of a decorated African American air force pilot.  Goodall “challenged the segregation of the officers club” and was arrested for it, said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. 

“This is a worthy man to honor.  He had a life that served many people,” Rep. James Lankford, R-Okla., said on the House floor.

One bill passed with a voice vote, but votes on the other seven were postponed.

So far this year, almost 50 bills to rename post offices have been introduced.  Three of those bills have made it to the president’s desk, representing a full 13 percent of all legislation signed by President Obama this year.

Throughout the previous legislative session, the 111th Congress introduced 427 bills to name post offices and passed more than 70 of them.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio