Last night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that the Senate had come to an agreement on how to proceed on the debate of S. 1789, the postal reform bill.
After hours and hours of negotiations between the bill managers (Senators Lieberman, Collins, Carper and Brown) and their leadership, the senators emerged with an agreed upon list of amendments that will be considered when the bill is brought back to the Senate floor for debate on Monday.
The good news is that all three of the amendments the NALC was seeking were included in the agreement. Once again those amendments are:
- New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall’s amendment to preserve six-day mail delivery (Amendment No. 2043)
- Hawaii Sen. Daniel Akaka’s amendment to replace the detrimental workers’ compensation reform in S. 1789 with a bipartisan-passed House bill, H.R. 2465, that NALC supports (Amendment No. 2034)
- New York Sen. Charles Schumer’s amendment to preserve home and business door delivery (Amendment No. 2050)
The bad news is that the agreement also included a 60-vote threshold on all amendments, including final passage. This is designed to significantly, if not entirely, limit the number of amendments that can be passed to change the legislation. We are very discouraged that a simple majority vote will not be enough to pass these critical amendments.
While we will continue to gather as much possible support as we can to reach the 60 votes needed on all three amendments, you must now clarify our position even further with your senators:
The NALC will oppose this legislation absent the inclusion of the three amendments listed above!
Those NALC members who have provided the Postal Service with a current home phone number will receive a robocall tonight from me to provide details of an emergency telephone town hall meeting scheduled for Sunday evening at 8:30 p.m. EDT (one call nationwide).
Between now and then, please keep the pressure on all of your senators.
Call 1-888-863-6103 over the weekend.
Time is of the essence!
Fredric V. Rolando, President
National Association of Letter Carriers