Hill Day 2018

Register now  for AUSPL’s  next visit to Capitol Hill on March 13-15, 2018! Concerned about knowing what to say?  We’ve got you covered!  Training will be held on the afternoon of March 13. Congressional Visits and Luncheon in the Capitol Building on March 14. And in case you are thinking it’s all work and no play, there will…

Senate Bill 3452, “Post Office Discontinuance Accountability Act of 2016”

On September 28, 2016, Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) introduced Senate Bill 3452 (“S. 3452”), titled the “Post Office Discontinuance Accountability Act of 2016.” The Bill is co-sponsored by Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS), and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. The Bill has been introduced late in the legislative session and will die if it is not passed into law by January 3, 2017. However, it can in such a case be re-introduced in the new Congress next year.

The objective of the Bill is to establish procedures governing “emergency suspensions” of Post Offices by the USPS. Under the Bill, emergency suspensions are defined to be:

[t]emporary discontinuance of a post office without following discontinuance procedures for the post office, because of (1) a natural disaster, (2) the early, sudden, or unexpected termination of a lease or rental agreement by the lessor when suitable alternate quarters are not immediately available in the same community, (3) lack of qualified personnel to operate the post office, (4) severe or irreparable damage to or destruction of, the post office when suitable alternate quarters are not immediately available in the community, (5) a challenge to the sanctity of the mail, or (6) a lack of adequate measures to safeguard the post office or its revenues. [Italics added.]

It is significant that S. 3452 does not define the term “emergency suspension” to include the expiration of a long term lease at the end of its term, as such an expiration can clearly be anticipated by both the USPS and the lessor. Because the USPS has in the past attempted to establish regulations which would allow it to treat normal lease expiration as an emergency suspension, AUSPL has long argued that the term should be limited to situations which are true “emergencies,” using the plain meaning of the word. S. 3452 would clarify that question in a meaningful way for postal lessors.

House Resolution on Six Day Mail Delivery

Representatives Sam Graves (MO-6) and Gerald Connolly (VA-11) have referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform House Resolution 12 entitled “Empower the United States Postal Service to Thrive in the 21st Century.” This resolution urges the USPS to take all appropriate measures to ensure the continuation of six day mail delivery service.…

Congress May Move Postal Legislation This Summer

by Harry Glenn

As predicted at the May conference, the House and Senate will make another attempt at moving postal reform and modernization legislation through Congress as early as this summer. This makes it more important than ever that each AUSPL member makes contact with his or her member of Congress to share the association’s interest in this matter.

AUSPL President Morgan Wolaver, Board Member Gary Phillips and Director of Operations Mark Karolczyk visited Capitol Hill May 20 and 21 to meet with key members of Congress and legislative staff who will be drafting postal legislation.

Cutting Back Mail Delivery

H.R. 4670 Secure Delivery for America Act of 2014 The Essentials 1. For three years, Representative Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has tried to sell his colleagues on a comprehensive postal reform bill. His rescue plan for the money-losing U.S. Postal Service includes ending Saturday letter delivery, closing some post offices, and consolidating the agency’s sprawling distribution…