NPPC is the trade association for large business users of letter mail, primarily in First Class.
NPPC is committed to ensuring that a postal system to serve business mailers and the public comprehensively, effectively and efficiently be sustained.
With the Postal Service under severe financial stress, NPPC is working with Congress, USPS and the Postal Regulatory Commission, as well as other postal stakeholders,
to achieve a solution that will address the
As we head into the second half of calendar year 2012, the postal financial situation has not stabilized. Assistance from Congress to deal with the Postal Service’s financial distress remains imperative; without it, not only will the system as we know it be unable to recover, but the burden will continue to climb from legislated financial requirements such as $5.5 billion per year to prefund retiree health care and overpayments to pension funds, in the face of declining volume and revenues.
July will prove to be a critical month. In order to have any realistic amount of time to complete a conference between the Senate and the House and reconcile two widely divergent bills, the House must pass a bill by the time it adjourns at the end of this month. For the moment, the best estimate is the bill will be on the House Floor during the last week in July. It’s possible sooner. House Leadership has expressed its intention to bring the bill to the Floor this month. However, that will be predicated on whether the sponsors of House postal legislation, HR 2309, can gather the needed majority -- 218 votes -- in time. Without the likelihood of passage, it is unlikely House Leadership will put HR 2309 on the Floor.
The majority is facing significant questions within its own caucus from Members representing rural areas, and those with districts that have heavy postal union concentrations. Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, subcommittee Chairman Dennis Ross, and their team are working hard to try to accommodate at least the rural conservatives. It is a good bet that there will be more protections against closing rural post offices either in a “Managers’ Amendment,’ i.e., a somewhat changed version by the bill’s sponsors to be considered as a substitute for the bill passed out of Committee, or in an amendment offered by other Members and accepted by the sponsors.
There are also concerns, again especially in heavily rural Districts, about Saturday delivery. Right now, some 222 members have signed onto a House resolution blocking USPS from reducing days of delivery, akin to language that has been in every appropriations bill affecting USPS since 1983. It is highly likely there will be such an amendment on the Floor and, if so, it should pass decisively.
The Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service (C21), of which NPPC was a founding member, has done many meetings — over 60 so far in just the past few weeks -- to encourage moving forward with HR 2309. C21 supports the House bill for the same reasons it supported the Senate bill: it contains helpful provisions, and neither bill can pass in the other body. Getting to conference, therefore, in order to craft a package that takes effective ideas from each bill, and that everyone can live with is essential. We’re running out of time: again, it’s very important that the House bill be on the Floor and approved before the House goes on break at the end of July. Given the chaotic schedule shaping up for the Fall, it will be difficult to complete a conference with the competing demands on time, attention and more of both Members and staff.
NPPC respectfully urges support of HR 2309; whether or not Members entertain doubts about particular aspects of the bill beyond the possibility of suitable compromises in conference, the alternative — no relief to USPS — is unsustainable.