Business Management - Government/Governmental

Will House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's Defeat Sink the Highway-Postal Delivery Deal?
June 12, 2014

A funny thing happened to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on his way to pushing an aggressive June legislative agenda that included a modified postal delivery schedule. He lost his Virginia House seat in yesterday's GOP primary election to economics professor Dave Brat.

The surprising defeat led the The Washington Post to opine that House legislative activity would now cease, as Republican members would “avoid doing anything—literally anything—that could be used against them” in their mid-term reelection bids this summer. Today, Cantor stepped down from his House leadership position.

Cantor and House GOP leadership devised a plan to institute five-day mail

Money-Losing Post Office Could Pave Way for Highway Funding
May 28, 2014

Raising the U.S. gasoline tax is out as a way to shore up the Highway Trust Fund. So is taxing drivers based on the number of miles they clock. A plan to use taxes on companies’ overseas profits hasn’t gone anywhere.

So House Republicans are now turning to the money-losing U.S. Postal Service.

The Postal Service lost $1.9 billion in the quarter ending March 31 while the fund supporting the nation’s highways, bridges and transit may run short of money to pay its bills as soon as July, according to the U.S. Transportation Department.

PRC Issues New Amended Rules Governing Advisory Opinions on Service Changes by USPS
May 22, 2014

The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) issued amended rules (May 20) governing the advisory opinions it is required to issue on service changes proposed by the U.S. Postal Service. The new rules establish an expedited pre-filing discovery period to give mail stakeholders distinct opportunities to weigh in on the effects of changes and result in more robust proposals for the PRC to deliberate in the 90 days it has to deliver its opinion.

“There is a sentiment that the PRC should move more quickly to allow the Postal Service to move more quickly, so we came up with a new set

Postal Union Targets Staples Over Mail Services Program, Contends Deal Amounts to Privatization
May 21, 2014

The announcement last year drew little notice: The long-troubled United States Postal Service was teaming up with equally distressed retailer Staples Inc. to offer mail services in 82 of its office supply stores.

The postal workers union views the deal as an attempt by management to escalate closings of post offices and privatize operations through a national retailer.

The union said the Staples counters should be staffed by postal service workers who are paid much better than store clerks, receive specific training in mail handling, and take an oath to protect the mail.

Postal Reform Hits Another Snag: House Democrats Opposed to Republican, White House-Backed Bill
May 8, 2014

Postal reform hit yet another snag on Wednesday after a scheduled House committee vote on a new piece of legislation was postponed due to a lack of bipartisan support.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, announced the delay just hours before a markup of his new bill overhauling the U.S. Postal Service was scheduled to begin. Issa introduced a bill to mirror a proposal put forward by the White House in President Obama’s fiscal 2015 budget proposal.  

Becca Watkins, a spokeswoman for Issa, said the chairman’s offering of the White House plan “represents an

Postal Service, Lawmakers Clash Over Improving Finances and How to Save the USPS
May 6, 2014

The Postal Service’s improving financial situation is fueling a debate between the agency, lawmakers and unions over what kind of legislation is needed to save the struggling agency. The debate centers on which income best represents the Postal Service’s financial health: operating or net.

Measured by operating income—revenue minus expenses—the Postal Service has made more than $1 billion in profit since the beginning of fiscal 2014. However, net income factors in the Postal Service’s obligation to prepay for retiree health benefits and fund its worker compensation fund, and there the service shows a net loss of $1.7 billion.

Postal Union Fights Staples Partnership: A Big Step Toward Privatization, Contend USPS Employees
April 16, 2014

On a recent Saturday morning, 500 protesters poured out of a parade of school buses, signs and megaphones in hand, and tried their best to shame a single Staples store just outside Chicago. Among them was Mike Suchomel, a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Postal Service, who traveled all the way from New Jersey for a nearby labor conference.

What has infuriated Suchomel and many of his fellow postal union members is a new arrangement struck between USPS and the office supply retailer. Under the premise of a pilot program, a limited number of Staples locations are now offering most

Four Reasons the Government Isn’t Going to Sell Off the Post Office
March 25, 2014

If you believe Democratic politicians and their allies in the labor movement, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe has a barely concealed agenda to privatize the U.S. Postal Service. Donahoe “can say whatever he wants,” Montana Senator Jon Tester told The Washington Post, “but I think he wants to privatize.”

Why else would Donahoe be so eager to cut costs at the USPS? He’s trying to push the post office to the brink of collapse so there will be no choice but to sell the 238-year-old government mail service. Or so goes the theory.

But this line of thinking doesn’t make sense.

USPS Testifies Before Congress Urging Elimination of Unfunded Liabilities
March 14, 2014

Chief Human Resources Officer and Executive Vice President Jeffrey Williamson testified before the United States House of Representatives Subcommittee yesterday on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and the Census during a hearing titled "At a Crossroads: The Postal Service’s $100 Billion in Unfunded Liabilities." "The enactment of comprehensive postal reform legislation cannot wait," said Williamson. "The Postal Service has exhausted its borrowing authority, faces unnecessary and artificial costs that it cannot afford, and is constrained by law from correcting the problem...

Postal Reform/Exigent Increase: Is the Mail Still Profitable?
March 1, 2014

The USPS is broken, and there are so many selfish motives permeating the committee rooms that have been tasked with devising a going-forward blueprint. Although the last postal reform effort is only seven years old, it already seems antiquated and unsustainable (the understatement of the century). And the odds of Congress enacting an encore during 2014 are not favorable.