Browsing: Postal Service

House (finally) approves H.R. 22

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The House of Representatives finally voted to approve H.R. 22, 388-32, more than eight months after it was introduced. The bill allows the Postal Service to pay health benefits for its current retirees out of a trust fund earmarked for future retirees. As Rebecca noted earlier, postal managers describe H.R. 22 as a necessity given their $7 billion budget deficit this year. The Postal Service needed to make a $5.4 billion payment into the retiree trust fund by Sept. 30, but the agency doesn’t have enough cash to make the payment. Without H.R. 22, it will be forced to default…

House to vote on postal service relief

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Within the next few hours, the House of Representatives may make a crucial decision regarding the fiscal future of the U.S. Postal Service. Due to a $7 billion deficit, the Postal Service can’t make its scheduled Sept. 30 payment to its retiree health benefits fund. HR 22, which the House debated Tuesday afternoon, would reduce this payment from roughly $5.4 billion to slightly more than $1 billion. Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., praised the bill as a necessary move to protect retirees while Congress debates the future of the Postal Service. Towns is chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform…

White House doesn't back down from postal dig

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8/21 UPDATE: U.S. Postal Service spokesman Gerry McKiernan just dropped me a line disputing Peter Roff’s take on the post office’s tax exemption. First, the Postal Service doesn’t own any planes on which it could pay taxes. Secondly, the Postal Service for many years was not allowed to run profits as a corporation does, meaning it had no income on which it would pay taxes, even without the exemption. (A 2006 reform allowed the Postal Service to turn a profit on competitive products like Priority Mail and package services, but in lieu of taxes, the post office uses some of that…

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming

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Our apologies if you were unable to read FedLine last night. We had an unexpected deluge of traffic after the Drudge Report linked to our blog about the National Association of Postal Supervisors taking offense at Obama’s dig against the U.S. Postal Service, which pretty much crashed our site. The crack Web staff at Army Times Publishing Co. and Gannett were on the case, however, and got us back up and running that evening. And to all of our new readers who found us via Drudge, welcome! We hope you stick around and explore FedLine, as well as our award-winning newspaper,…

Postal supervisors: Obama swipe "a kick to the chest"

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The National Association of Postal Supervisors has fired back at President Barack Obama for dragging the U.S. Postal Service further into the health care debate. In an Aug. 14 letter, NAPS President Ted Keating accused Obama of using the Postal Service as a “scapegoat” and unfairly painting it as “an example of inefficiency” during a health care town hall meeting last week. Obama told a crowd in Portsmouth, N.H., Aug. 11 that private health care insurance providers should be able to compete with a government-run public option because “UPS and FedEx are doing just fine. … It’s the Post Office…

Postal Service: Whipping boy of the health care debate

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As the debate over health care reform boils over, both sides are now using the U.S. Postal Service to score points. House Minority Leader John Boehner, June 11: If you like going to the DMV and think they do a great job, or you like going to the post office and think it’s the most efficient thing you’ve run into, then you’ll love the government-run health care system. And President Barack Obama at this afternoon’s health care town hall meeting in Portsmouth, N.H., as reported by the Associated Press: [Obama] also disputed the notion that adding a government-run insurance plan into a menu…

A more "green" Postal Service?

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Rep. Stephen Lynch, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on the Postal Service, Postal Service and the District Columbia, wants to “green” the Postal Service. During a speech on the National Mall Thursday to celebrate Public Service Recognition Week, Lynch said he plans to hold a hearing this summer looking at making the Postal Service and other agencies more “green” and energy efficient. With the world’s largest fleet of vehicles, the Postal Service has already converted 20 percent of its fleet to alternate fuel capable vehicles. Our hearing will examine how best to increase that number and…

Breaking: Postal Service cuts more than 1,400 jobs

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The U.S. Postal Service is slashing its administrative ranks by 15 percent and cutting 1,400 mail processing supervisors and management positions at 400 facilities across the country, the economically imperiled organization announced today. In addition, the Postal Service is closing six of its 80 district offices, a move that will eliminate another 500 positions. USPS is also offering early retirement opportunity to 150,000 postal employees nationwide. The actions are expected to save the Postal Service more than $100 million a year. Affected employees will have four months to find work elsewhere in the Postal Service, at an equal or lower pay…

Postal benefits change not part of stimulus

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We reported last week that Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., introduced an amendment to the stimulus bill that would allow the Postal Service to pay its current retiree health benefits out of the trust fund earmarked for future retiree benefits. That change would help the Postal Service plug its budget deficit, expected to top $3 billion this year. Well, Carper introduced the amendment four times — but it doesn’t seem to be part of the final stimulus bill passed by the Senate on Tuesday. The bil doesn’t mention the Postal Service at all. Obviously, Congress can still pass separate legislation; H.R. 22,…

Your thoughts: No more USPS Saturday delivery?

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I’ve received a lot of feedback today on one of this week’s front-page stories, about the U.S. Postal Service’s dire financial condition. Most commenters seem in favor of ending Saturday delivery, which experts say could happen in the next few years. A rural letter carrier who works six days a week wrote: It’s time to bite the bullet and change the old ways of 6-day delivery. I know that 4-10 hour days can never happen, but I would like maybe 5-8 hour day weeks. Having no family time by working 6 days is not fun. Another commenter suggested even more…