House Won't Debate Postal Reform Before RecessJuly 13, 2012
WASHINGTON, DC—The House of Representatives is putting Mr. ZIP on ice, and the many industries impacted by the U.S. Postal Service are up in arms by the lack of action on postal reform.
A Capitol Hill source told the National Journal that the House will not debate the reform bill prior to its August recess, making the passage of legislation before the lame-duck session following November's election highly unlikely. The post-election session features a laundry list of outstanding business, among them appropriations and a farm bill.
The source said that House leadership decided not to debate the bill prior to recess, despite the objections of House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Rep. Dennis Ross, (R-FL), authors of H.R. 2309, the Postal Reform Act. The bill was approved by the committee last fall, but has stalled en route to a full House vote.
According to Michael Makin, Printing Industries of America's president and CEO, postal reform was initially included on a July “To Do” memo issued by House GOP leadership, and a vote prior to the August recess had been expected until this week.
“Everyone knows a presidential election year means Congress stops legislating for all intents and purposes in the weeks leading up to Election Day, but that’s no excuse for letting the month of July slip by without putting substantive, ready-to-go legislation like postal reform on the House floor for a vote,” Makin said.
“Perhaps the House thinks it will be ‘33rd time's a charm’ in its continual quest to repeal so-called Obamacare, but most observers know (Wednesday's) 33rd repeal vote—and others like it that highlight campaign themes but have zero chance of seeing the light of day in the Senate or becoming law—is pure political theater. Rather than focusing on ‘messaging votes’ to spotlight job-killing policies, the House should take a vote on legislation like H.R. 2309 that actually does something to address job creation and growth—and has a valid chance of becoming law.”
The Senate passed its version of postal reform in April and is awaiting the House-passed version in order to begin a bicameral conference to resolve differences between two bills.
Minus Congressional help, the USPS will likely default on retiree health fund payments due Aug. 1 and in September.