Tell Congress: Oppose the Republican Plan to Cripple the USPS
No more Saturday mail delivery. No more door-to-door mail service for millions of Americans.
The Postal Reform Act of 2013, introduced by Rep. Darrell Issa and passed out of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee recently1, would implement these drastic changes to the postal service, while slashing over 100,000 mail carrier jobs, directly attacking postal employees’ collective-bargaining rights, and creating a new and entirely unnecessary oversight committee.2
The postal service doesn’t need new bureaucracy, or even to cut jobs and services. What it needs is an end to the disastrous pre-funding mandate, which requires the postal service to guarantee retiree healthcare and pension benefits for 75 years — something that no other government agency or private company is forced to do.
Tell Congress: Oppose the Postal Reform Act of 2013.
Over two-thirds of the postal service’s budget red ink comes from the onerous and ill-considered 2006 law called the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA), which created the pre-funding mandate.3
The PAEA was created by Republicans intent on killing a vital government service for the sake of proving that government can't work. By making the public believe that government services are underfunded and poorly managed, Republicans can force more cuts and eventually privatize services altogether, handing over public goods to private corporations that enrich a select few at the expense of many.
Rep. Issa is now using the USPS budget shortfall that the Republican-sourced PAEA created as a reason to implement changes to the postal service that will make it totally uncompetitive with services like FedEx and UPS.
We can’t let them pass this bill and doom the USPS to a death-spiral that would cut services and create a needless bureaucratic oversight committee at the expense of middle-class jobs.
Both the American Postal Workers Union4 and the National Association of Letter Carriers5 have come out against Rep. Issa’s bill. Now we need to back them up with a resounding call from the grassroots to oppose this bill and end the long-term Republican plan to kill the post office.
Cutting services and jobs can be avoided by making simple and popular reforms to the postal service like those proposed in bills by Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Senate, and Rep. Peter DeFazio in the House.6 Their legislation would end the mandate that requires the USPS to pre-fund healthcare benefits for future retirees, while recouping $11 billion the government has overcharged the postal service.7
If Congress can't get its act together and implement necessary and simple reforms to end the pre-funding mandate and allow the USPS to operate without onerous and unnecessary restrictions, the postal service will be forced to continue cutting staff and services. We can’t let that happen.
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Thank you for standing up for the U.S. Postal Service.
1. Gary Strauss, "Door-to-door postal service, Sat. delivery a step closer to getting axe," USA Today, July 24, 2013.
2. Nick Wing, "Postal Service, Darrell Issa Eye End To Door-To-Door Mail Delivery Service," Huffington Post, July 24, 2013.
3. Zaid Jilani, "A Manufactured ‘Crisis’: Congress Can Let The Post Office Save Itself Without Mass Layoffs Or Service Reductions," ThinkProgress, September 28, 2011.
4. "Rep. Issa Introduces Postal Legislation; APWU Urges ‘No’ Vote on ‘Deeply Disturbing’ Bill," American Postal Workers Union, July 22, 2013.
5. "NALC statement on postal bill mark-up session," National Association of Letter Carriers, July 25, 2013.
6. Annie-Rose Strasser, "Congressman Finally Takes Action To Remove Needless Requirement Bankrupting The Postal Service," ThinkProgress, April 25, 2013.
7. "Postal Service Protection Act of 2013," Library of Congress, February 13, 2013.