Browsing: Dennis Ross

Showdown over mail delivery looming on Capitol Hill (but not this month)

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One way or another, it looks like a major congressional battle is headed our way over the U.S. Postal Service’s long-sought goal of ending most six-day mail delivery. One possible flash point is the postal overhaul bill (H.R. 2309) sponsored by Reps. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Dennis Ross, R-Fla., which would allow postal officials to begin moving to five-day delivery within six months of the legislation’s being signed into law. The House’s Republican leadership had hoped to bring the Issa measure to the floor this month; earlier this week, the National Association of Letter Carriers said its “most urgent goal is…

Unemployment deal would cut Congress' cushy pension

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Key congressional negotiators have just signed off on a conference report to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance, and there’s an unexpected surprise in there. New members of Congress would no longer get a cushy pension, and would instead get the same annuity as rank-and-file federal employees, according to Ali Ahmad, who is a spokesman for Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. Feds under the Federal Employees Retirement System have their pension calculated at either 1 percent or 1.1 percent, depending on their age. But lawmakers under FERS have their pension calculated at 1.7 percent. That, when combined with their…

Bill cutting federal pensions hits House Rules Committee tonight

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A bill that would increase the amount federal employees pay toward their pensions and steeply cut the pensions of future federal employees is continuing to work its way through the House. The House Rules Committee is scheduled to consider HR 3813, the Securing Annuities for Federal Employees Act, at a 5 p.m. meeting today, where it could be amended. The committee’s approval is the final step before it heads to the House floor. Fred Piccolo, the chief of staff for bill sponsor Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., said it’s unclear when debate on the bill will begin, but said it could…

Why the Postal Service's halt to plant and P.O. closings may not mean much

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So, how big a deal is the U.S. Postal Service’s freeze on closings of post offices and mail processing plants? Less than you might think, perhaps. No doubt, today’s abruptly announced moratorium was made under mounting political pressure from Capitol Hill Democrats. “Cave-in” was how Reps. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Dennis Ross, R-Fla., described it in a news release. But the long-term consequences for the Postal Service’s downsizing plans won’t necessarily be that pronounced. Last week, for example, a USPS spokeswoman told Federal Times that processing plant closings would start in April at the earliest. The five-month freeze would push…