NALC blasts PMG for endorsing highway budget scam, misleading Congress

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF LETTER CARRIERS LOGOJune 14, 2014—UPDATED June 16Earlier this week, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe recklessly endorsed the House of Representative’ leadership’s outrageous ploy to use massive job and service cuts in the Postal Service to “pay for” a short-term extension of the Highway Trust Fund, which will run out of money in August if Congress fails to raise the gas tax that normally funds it or to come up with an alternative source of revenue.

The proposal, the brainchild of the outgoing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), would use the alleged savings of eliminating Saturday mail delivery to offset the cost of a temporary injection of taxpayer funds into the trust fund to keep highway maintenance and construction projects going for a few more months.

The plan, which appears to have failed to gain enough support to advance in the House, was widely panned in Washington as a transparent gimmick that relied on averting a hypothetical taxpayer bailout of the Postal Service in the future.  It was also a massive failure of leadership. Our nation deserves a serious long-term solution to our highway infrastructure crisis, but the House of Representatives refuses to govern.

The criticism did not stop the PMG from lending his support to the scheme.

NALC President Fredric Rolando denounced the PMG’s move and issued the following statement:

“Mr. Donahoe’s action may be the most irresponsible thing any Postmaster General has done since the creation of the Postal Service in 1970. If allowed to succeed, this budget gimmick would have set a terrible precedent for the Postal Service. Why raise taxes or reduce spending at taxpayer-funded agencies, when you can pay for pet projects with legislated service cuts at the Postal Service? Need a new aircraft carrier? Slash post office hours. Want a new fleet of planes to fight forest fires? Raise postage rates. The PMG recklessly risked undoing all the hard work we did in the late 1980s to get the Postal Service off-budget, to shield the Postal Service and ratepayers from scheming politicians like Rep. Cantor. The PMG owes every postal employee and every postage rate-payer an apology.”

The Postal Service did not just offer rhetorical support for the House GOP plan. It spent the week distributing grossly misleading “fact sheets” to Congress about the effects of eliminating Saturday delivery.

The NALC and our allies in the other unions and in both parties in Congress fought back with fact sheets and communications of our own.

In a blog post for Congressional Quarterly, David Harrison reported that, following “a late barrage of opposition” from rank-and-file House members, House leaders have decided not to pursue this plan to involve the Postal Service in financing a short-term extension of the Highway Trust Fund.

“The proposal to end six-day [mail delivery] was not well received by a large portion of the Republican conference and appears to be dead,” said a senior House Republican aide told CQ. “Other, more viable options are now being considered.”

The CQ story reported that, according to House Republican aides, the plan imploded after its architect, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) lost his GOP primary election on June 10.

Conservative organizations, such as Heritage Action and the Club for Growth, also were against the plan, CQ reported, while Democrats had outright dismissed the idea—a lack of support that would have left House leaders scrambling to hold on to as Republican support as possible.

But President Rolando warned NALC members to remain vigilant:

“We may have defeated this gimmick, but we must also ensure that the six-day mandate is renewed in next year’s House appropriations bill. The next few weeks will be decisive on this front as well; we will need every member to fight to save the Postal Service from politicians who want to dismantle it. It’s a shame that the postmaster general has made common cause with the dismantlers instead of working with us and other stakeholders to advance consensus reforms that will strengthen the Postal Service, not weaken it.”

Updated June 16 to include Congressional Quarterly’s report that the plan has been set aside.


16 thoughts on “NALC blasts PMG for endorsing highway budget scam, misleading Congress

  1. Mr. Bkizzle , so you want Cris Crisco in 2016.Vote for some one that looks like Donahoe? Maybe you will be one of the lucky employees that will be laid off! You can always get a job with robot Romney.

  2. Go to 5 day delivery….. The volume is just not there people!!!! Everybody wants to save jobs? But if there is no work, then you are not actually doing any work….. So is it really just about getting a free paycheck??? Get on welfare like the rest of them….. FREE LOADERS!!! Every other company in The world has made cuts. Now it’s time for the usps to right it’s ship! Chris Christie 2016

  3. It is very obvious that his royal majesty Donahoe wants the Postal Service to be sold to robot Romney! And have all the employees become slaves! Remember, Postal management is not your friend. Join the Labor party! Fight back.

  4. the post office is a joke. With e-mail, and all other internet instant messaging plus long distant calling on almost all phone plans who needs snail mail. Three day delivery is more than enough to get the junk mail. I know the union will throw a fit but the post office is a dying business.

  5. The brainchild of outgoing house majority leader Eric Cantor. I kind of the like the way that sounds. But wouldn’t it sound better if we could vote out Donahoe like Cantor’s district did with him. We could call it outgoing Postmaster General brainless child Patrick Donahoe.

  6. Donohoe doesn’t owe the USPS or the public an apology. He owes us his resignation. The NALC should be hounding Congress and the Senate for his immediate removal. Go public and let everybody know what a scheming saboteur Donohoe actually is. Why President Obama hasn’t removed him is inexplicable. The Service is in a mystery condition as far as I’m concerned because like everything else in Washington numbers are fixed, mixed and inflated and deflated to the point where we really don’t know what the hell is going on, just the way they like it. NAPUS came out at first for five day for funding the highway project until they realized they’d lose their bonuses and swiftly changed their opinion. But NAPUS is about as powerful as a two year old sick in bed. Let’s hope our retirement isn’t messed around with.

  7. lame duck Congress at work like normal!!! vote the Bums out and put people who will work to support the working class!!!!

  8. the p.m.g. is a complete buffoon! how did he get this job? how does he KEEP this job?! what a jackass!

  9. Mr. Rolando.. Why does anything shock or surprise you nowadays from Congress or the PMG??? Donuthole cries wolf that we’re broke, we made a profit, we’re broke again.. Blah Blah Blah… It’s getting old already!!! It’s obvious he doesn’t have this Agency’s best interest at heart. He doesn’t care about US workers, OUR customers, probably NOBODY at all.. Donuthole is slowly privatizing us. I give us 2 more years of job security with President Obama. If we lose the Senate and get a Republican in the White House, we’re privatized the next day!! If you think you’re vote doesn’t matter my friends, think again… Look what happen to Eric Cantor. He spent 5.5 million dollars on his campaign compared to 125,000 dollars. Guess what?? Eric Cantor LOST!!! But the main reason Cantor lost is because of low voter turnout.. Out of 725,000 registered voters in that district. Only 66,000 people voted… SO FOLKS… EVERY VOTE COUNTS!!!!!!!!!

  10. that’s because the PMG has friends, family that would directly benefit from taking money from the post office to help rebuild our highways, the PMG is in bed with the people that would benefit from this.

  11. please pay attention for who you vote for rep. and some dem. will steal any money they can to give tax breaks to there buddies they want the same things that the working people want but they don’t want to pay for it that’s the difference between these two parties they took the surplus from usps in 2006 along with s.s. money two tax breaks while fighting two wars are you kidding me there should have been a war tax put on to pay for them that way every body sacrifices just my thoughts

  12. The PMG can’t even stand up for the Postal Service.most likely he will destroy the USPS and get a job with UPS or FedEx. He needs to move on.

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