Several AUSPL board members, staff and Association lessors recently joined us in Washington, D.C., to meet with leaders in the House and Senate to discuss postal reform, which faces stiff competition as Congress gears up for the fall elections.
One hurdle facing postal reform is the ongoing debate over Saturday mail delivery. According to recent news reports, the USPS maintains that “rolling back six-day letter delivery is crucial to the agency’s fiscal health—saving an average of $2 billion a year.” However lawmakers representing rural districts and other legislators are reluctant to vote for five-day delivery, citing adverse impacts on postal services and job loss. The disagreement reduces the chances this Congress will pass postal reform. A plan to use savings from five-day delivery to shore up a Highway Trust Fund that needs funding has been scrapped.
Meanwhile, the House Appropriations Committee has restored, as part of a spending bill, a provision that requires six-day delivery. A “deal” on six-day delivery could lead to comprise on other portions of postal reform legislation. USPS wants to deliver only packages on Saturday. Postal unions are concerned about jobs, desire to maintain six-day delivery and would like to grow new business opportunities. Without postal reform, PMG Donahoe says USPS will close more mail processing centers in the near future.
AUSPL is ready to continue its efforts in 2015 and beyond. We were pleased that Congressman David Jolly (R-FL) along with Senator Rand Paul’s (R-KY) legislative staffers Natalie Burkhalter and Carolyn Moffa joined us for our Hill Day kick-off reception. Rep. Jolly, a huge supporter of postal reform, was guest of honor at the next day’s luncheon. He is working on an amendment to H.R. 4906 that will recognize post offices as an alternative to cluster boxes. We will be working with Rep. Jolly as well as Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) and others on “post office friendly” legislation.
During our meetings, we emphasized that leased buildings barely impact the USPS budget, and we support the idea that, as much as a cluster box, a post office box is a point of centralized delivery. Further we encourage all AUSPL members to keep involved by writing to their Senators and Representatives.
Here is a list of offices of Senators and Representatives whose staff we met with during our trip to D.C.
Senator Sherrod Brown (D- OH)
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Senator Corey Booker (D-NJ)
Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)
Senator Angus King (I-ME)
Representative Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY)
Senator Edward Markey (D- MA)
Senator Al Franken (D-MN)
Senator Blake Farenthold (R-TX)
Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Senator Patrick Toomey (R-PA)
Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
Senator Richard Burr (R-NC)
Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA)
Representative John Carney (D-DE)
Representative Elijah Cummings (D- MD)
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)
Representative Chellie Pingree (D-ME)
Senator Chris Coons (D-DE)
Representative Paul Gosar (R-AZ)
Representative Jackie Walorski (R-IN)
Representative Richard Nolan (D-MN)
Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA)
Senator Benjamin Cardin (D- MD)
Senator Tom Carper (D-DE)
Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ)