Chairman Darrell Issa of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee has called a subcommittee mark-up of his bill, H.R. 2309, for Wednesday, September 21, at 1:30 p.m. I am writing to ask that you call your member of Congress on the Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and Labor Policy (contact information below). Ask him or her to SHOW UP at the mark-up to fight for the survival of the U.S. Postal Service and its customers and employees, and urge him or her to vote NO on the adoption of H.R. 2309, a radical proposal that does nothing to address the immediate financial concerns of the Postal Service. Instead, it seeks to dismantle the USPS, piece by piece.
Drastically downsizing the Postal Service is not the answer, especially when the real cost will be passed on to postal customers throughout the country. H.R. 2309 has only one co-sponsor, while H.R. 1351, a bill with 206 co-sponsors from both parties, goes right to the heart of the problem and offers real solutions for the Postal Service's financial future without the use of taxpayer money.
H.R. 2309 fails to address the real cause of the postal financial crisis: a congressional mandate that requires the Postal Service to pre-fund future retiree health benefits at a grossly accelerated rate of $5.5 billion a year. No other agency or company faces such a burden. The bill also fails to return tens of billions of dollars in overpayments to the Postal Service's portion of the CSRS Pension Fund. Instead, Chairman Issa is asking for:
- a shift to five-day mail delivery service at a cost of 80,000 jobs -- many of them held by veterans of the armed forces;
- a new, unelected board to order massive post office and processing facility closures;
- a new, unelected control authority to micro-manage the USPS, with the power to override labor contracts; and
- provisions to intervene in postal collective bargaining and to tilt the process of binding arbitration in favor of management.
In addition to these radical proposals, we are told that new amendments will be considered at the markup this Wednesday that would further slash postal employment and attack workers' pay and benefits:
- a phase-out of door-to-door delivery and a phase-in of cluster box delivery nationwide, including to the elderly and disabled; and
- damaging and grossly unfair cuts to OWCP benefits.
Congress cannot save the Postal Service by slowly killing it, piece by piece, and by attacking middle-class workers who live and work in all 50 states, red states and blue states alike. Please call your representative and urge him or her to stand up for America's Postal Service and to vote against the passage of H.R. 2309. Americans deserve a real solution that saves the Postal Service -- not one that simply destroys it.
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC) 202-225-8050
Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (VA-11) 202-225-1492
Rep. Danny K. Davis (IL-7) 202-225-5006
Rep. Dennis Ross, chairman (FL-12) 202-225-1252 (co-sponsor of H.R. 2309)
Rep. Justin Amash, vice chairman (MI-3) 202-225-3831
Rep. Jim Jordan (OH-4) 202-225-2676
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (UT-3) 202-225-7751
Rep. Connie Mack (FL-14) 202-225-2536
Rep. Tim Walberg (MI-7) 202-225-6276
Rep. Trey Gowdy (SC-4) 202-225-6030
Fredric V. Rolando, President
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