The White House is supposed to release its plan for rescuing the U.S. Postal Service this morning, but–perhaps not so coincidentally–Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., isn’t waiting.
Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, today announced a subcommittee mark-up Wednesday afternoon on his bill that would allow the Postal Service to end Saturday delivery, but would also put the mail carrier under the control of a specially appointed commission if it misses any payment to the federal government—such as the legally required $5.5 billion retiree health care prepayment due at the end of this month. That commission could override Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and also breach union contracts in the interest of putting the agency back in the black.
Not surprisingly, Issa’s bill has gotten a lukewarm reception from the Postal Service and is fiercely opposed by postal unions. Nonetheless, Wednesday’s session will mark the first attempt this year to advance any major postal legislation beyond the talking stage.