House Oversight Committee introduces bipartisan postal reform bill, hearing on USPS scheduled Feb 7

oversightThe bill resembles last year’s House bill, but with some differences.

The MSPB provision has been modified and simplified, in part to add OIG employees.  This will require a closer look, although this is a moving train, and Chaffetz’ strategy will be to get this bill passed early in this session.

Although not yet announced there will be an HOGR hearing on the state of the Postal Service next Tues, Feb. 7.  NALC, APWU and USPS will testify. NAPS

From the House Oversight Committee:

WASHINGTON – Today, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee leaders introduced H.R. 756, the Postal Service Reform Act of 2017. The bill addresses unfunded liabilities of the United States Postal Service (USPS), makes reforms to keep mailing costs affordable for consumers, and encourages innovation, all without additional borrowing capacity from the U.S. taxpayer.

Bill cosponsors Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Reps. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Dennis Ross (R-FL), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), and Stephen Lynch (D-MA) released the following statement upon introduction:

“This bipartisan measure will make the policy changes that are most urgently needed to put the Postal Service on sound and sustainable long-term financial footing. This collaborative reform effort places the Postal Service on a path toward a viable future.”

Click here to see the full bill text.

Click here to view a summary of the bill.

Click here to view notable changes from legislation introduced during the 114th Congress.

Background:

In May 2016, the committee held a hearing to examine the need for timely and comprehensive postal reform legislation.

In June 2016, the committee introduced H.R. 5714, the Postal Service Reform Act.

In July 2016, the legislation overwhelmingly passed out of committee.

What the Bill Does:

Makes USPS More Efficient

  • Cuts Costs: CBO Score, Unified Budget Savings of at least $2.2B
  • Streamlines and Secures Mail Delivery through cluster boxes for eligible businesses, voluntary residential conversions
  • Strengthens Accountability by holding Postmaster General accountable for results
  • Improves Oversight by having the Postal Regulatory Commission review postage rates, mail delivery performance

 Keeps Promises to Customers, Employees

  • Guarantees Pension Liability by making clear USPS is responsible for accrued pension liabilities
  • Improves Employee Health Care by improving coordination of care through a USPS-only health care plan and Medicare integration
  • Emphasizes Local Service Opportunities by having USPS provide state, local, and tribal government services at local post offices, reducing the cost of service and raising postal revenue
  • Supports Rural Access by obtaining local community input on post office closure

29 thoughts on “House Oversight Committee introduces bipartisan postal reform bill, hearing on USPS scheduled Feb 7

  1. A quick update – President Rolando is supposed to testify in Congress about the Postal Reform bill, so while I railed at the inactivity of the NALC concerning this matter, I will tentatively retract my criticism as I receive this new information. But my basic complaint about lack of visibility and action still stands. The ones who need the most help are those like moi who live in extremely red states and have no reasonable Representatives or Senators to turn to.

  2. So, stick it to retirees, huh? Force a Medicare merger at 65 with current plans that will increase premiums $243 more a month for fixed income retirees? What kind of “plan” is this? What good are the Democrats if they support such a blatant screwing of their own people, right along with the GOP? My state has the worst of the worst ultra right wing lawmakers, being a very red(neck) state, and one, Tom Cotton, a truly deranged Senator who worships Donald Trump wouldn’t even talk to constituents who dared disagree with his sucking up to the Orange Tyrant and opposed, among other things, the attempt to stop immigration from seven Arab states where there is no instances of terrorist activity against the U.S. He was only forced to acknowledge them after being embarrassed in state media and local television. Arkansas is almost totally under the spell of the GOP with the few exceptions being Fayetteville, where the University of Arkansas is located, and thus, more thinking people, and the Little Rock metro and Delta country in the SE corner of the state.
    I’ve written too many times to count, and in recent months not one of the three, Womack, U.S. Representative of our Fourth District, Cotton, or John Boozman, the other U.S. Senator bothered to respond at all. Boozman sends a robo email saying he will respond, but that’s a lie. These skunks know a Democrat when they see our letters – they’re well informed, punctuation and grammar are far superior, and they hate the overall mind set of most GOP voters. My lawmakers hate us, and know they have nothing to lose by ignoring us. Which is exactly what they do.
    And where is the NALC on all this? Why aren’t they up in arms about the rape of the retirees? We need visibility! I am not willing to pay my dues for a union who ignores us when we pay for the representation they promise.

  3. The Postal Health Care provision of this bill (Section 101) is not good for employees or retirees. Last year Walton Francis wrote an article “Postal Service Health Benefits and the FEHBP: The Urgent Case for Getting Reform Right” in which he analyzed the similar legislation in the last congressional session. He concluded this legislation will cost the USPS, employees and especially retirees more than staying in the FEHBP as we are now. This is because a unique pool consisting of postal employees will be more expensive than the much larger FEHBP pool which will result in higher costs for all of us and forces all Medicare eligible retirees and their spouses to have Medicare Parts B and D to keep any federal medical benefits. Postal Joe is right we all need to call and write our congressmen and senators so they do not support this evil provision. Read Section 101 of the bill and Walton Francis’ article, it will open your eyes as to how bad this proposed change is.

  4. Yes, this bill doesn’t kick retirees out of fehb, BUT you have to read the bill to discover that after reaching 65 and being mandated to take Medicare it basically takes away the drug plan within FEHB!!! Another words you are put into Medicare part D through a “Employer group Waiver Plan” AND THAT IS, IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE??? It doesn’t even say what the qualifications are to be eligible, and there is a big deductible amount before it even pays anything!! So you could be screwed bigtime if you need a lot of prescriptions !!! This is starting to make Obamacare look good!!! Everyone needs to get on the phone and call their Congressmen and Senators and tell them to kill this bill before it’s toooo late!! Seriously, you may not think notifying your reps will help but man this is really bad stuff!!!!

    • And the Postal union honchos support putting retirees on Medicare,even though it is uncertain to exist in the future if Paul Ryan gets his way. Shows how much the union bosses other than Dimondstein are in bed with management.

  5. “ALMOST ALL EMPLOYEES AND RETIREES,” included in this bill. You wont see the PMG, and postal management included in this bill. Shame on the unions for rolling over. Let your voice be heard and call your members in congress.

  6. “ALMOST ALL EMPLOYEES AND RETIREES” included in this bill. You wont see the PMG, and postal management included in this bill. Shame on the unions. They are useless and don’t care about members, just your dues!

    • They have to be included in this bill, in former PMG Donadope’s proposal to start a management run system separate from FEHB, a few years ago,they wouldn’t have been included.

  7. Love the provision of making the PMG accountable.

    This shows that Maggie’s days are numbered for she’s just an inbred clown with a BS online degree from a diploma mill.

    Trump knows she’s just a stuffed suit who’s only good for showing up at stamp shows.

    Hopefully Trump will fire Kristen along with her.

  8. If you work as a craft employee of the USPS and hope to retire someday from there then you should be totally against this !! Are you kidding me??!! this puts postal workers in a much more expensive medical insurance group and you know well it wont be a Federal group plan like we have now. much smaller group of workers with a much higher average age. What do you think will happen to health insurance premiums? alot higher thats what not to mention screwing retirees out of the benefits we paid for for years by mandating medicare and mandating a purchase of Part B for over a 100 bucks a months coming out of your retirement! It’s disgusting that Elijah Cummings accepted this piece of trash.

  9. With congressman Paul Ryan wanting to change Medicare to a voucher system this is not a good timing on Chaffetz part for introducing any change to postal FEHB. The Postal Service has already paid billions into mandated funds as a result of the 2006 prefunding mandate. That is more than enough money that current retiree’s should be grandfathered into staying
    in the current FEHB. Current employees with 10 or more years before becoming eligible to retire would have more than enough time to prepare for this medicare integration. I read that the Postal unions have been asked to testify at an HOGR hearing on February 7, 2017. What I don’t see is retiree’s being asked to testify. I find that disturbing as the Postal unions do not represent me, nor do they have my permission to represent me. With 76,000 retired Postal retirees I am sure there would be many of us who would be willing to testify. Congressman Chaffetz just needs to ask us.

  10. USPS is responsible for accrued pension liabilities is that basically saying goodbye to our federal retirement? Medicare is part of social security? why would anyone want to support a bill we should or would get as part of what we paid into social security? more questions than answers

  11. I agree, health care is a must. To cut any portions and not take into consideration the extreme physical demands of craft employees during their entire career into retirement where they will need it the most, is like chewing us up and spitting us out.

  12. This bill is a way to stick it to retiree’s. The P.O. should pay for medicare part B 100% for retiree’s life! We’re physically ruined by the time we retire from the job and the P.O. should take care of us till the end.

  13. The Postal Service Reform Act of 2017 would require postal retirees and their spouses living abroad to pay Medicare Part B premiums, although they would get nothing in return. How does that benefit the Postal Service or the retiree and spouse? Medicare covers no medical services outside the United States.

  14. Here we go again!! You have to laugh when they list the CBO score of $2.2 billion saved but what they don’t say is that Medicare will lose $2.2 Billion in extra costs in the transfer, so basically it’s a Medicare bailout of the USPS!!! You have to laugh again when they talk about “improved employee health care” with mandating Medicare, when Medicare itself is on the brink of going bankrupt and talk by the Republicans that want to change it completely!! You have to thank NALC Rolando for this because he testified before several committees last year and basically told them that it’s OK to screw retirees out of their health care benefits! Retirees worked 30+ years for those benefits and counted on them when they retired and just want what they were promised when they signed up to work for the USPS!! Chairman Chaffetz should be ashamed for even thinking of such a change to the healthcare benefits of his fellow Federal Retirees!!

    • Ryan wants to introduce a bill that does away with Medicare,then what? will Chaffetz and his Republican colleagues on the committee vote for it? you bet they will!

  15. A USPS-only health care program???????? Oh boy, that will really help…. postal management can’t get the mail right, now going to screw up our health care?? Just dump the pre funding and re-open some of the plants!!

    • It keeps Postal Employees in FEHB, and not into a system for postal employees run by USPS mismanagement as Downahole pushed for several years ago.

  16. I sure can’t argue with this proposed reform bill. I do wish it included a return to past delivery standards and ordered the immediate reopening of closed plants and smaller offices, but success is not usually attained without a certain degree of loss.
    I really do applaud the measure that would hold Postmaster Generals to account for their actions. This would be a huge deterrent to what should be illegal bonus programs, employee dissatisfaction, unwillingness to adhere to agreements signed with the postal unions, customer poor service, and hopefully would create a domino effect that would make underlings to the PMG more responsible since the PMG’s job would depend on them doing theirs.
    This would possibly entail outside involvement, and the management of the USPS has been in dire need of accountability for a very very long time. Just keep that moronic Trump out of it because he lacks the brains how to use a self adhesive stamp.

  17. Their still isn’t any justification to expect the Postal service, and only the Postal service, to be stuck with the health care pre funding costs! Why not force every other employer in America to have that unnecessary, artificial, manufactured, invented, mindless, asinine political idea! If the cost is good enough for the Postal Service than it is good enough to be placed on congress! They should have a taste of their own medicine.

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