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eNAPUS 9-19-2011

eNAPUS 9-19-2011

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Published by: bsheehan on Sep 20, 2011
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09/20/2011

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eNAPUS Legislative & Political Bulletin 
 
September 19, 2011 Volume 8, Number 10
President ObamaAnnouncing WhiteHouse DeficitReduction Plan
President Obama Weighs In on PostalLegislation
On Monday morning, President Obama finally put his postal cards on thecounter, as part of a broad proposal to the Special Select CongressionalCommittee on Deficit Reduction. The committee is tasked with presenting bothHouses of Congress a bill, by mid-November to reduce the federal deficit by$1.5 trillion over the next decade. The committee’s efforts dovetail with aproposed extension of the date on which the Postal Service is required to makea $5.5 billion payment to prefund retiree health benefits. The payment delay isincluded in House Joint Resolution 79, a
Continuing Resolution
, which keepsthe government running through Nov. 18.The President’s postal plan provides about $20 billion in relief to the USPS overthe next 10 years; it contains five major elements:
 
Permits the USPS to reduce delivery frequency from six days to fivedays a week,
 
Allows the USPS to adjust rates to better reflect the cost of deliverywithin its price cap, and permits the USPS to seek an exigent rateincrease,
 
Authorizes partnerships with state and local governments to offer non-postal products,
 
Restructures the Postal Service’s obligation to prefund retiree healthcosts, and
 
Refunds the USPS’ $6.9 billion in overpayments to the FederalEmployees Retirement System (FERS) over two years.The Presidential Deficit Reduction document acknowledges that by the end of the month without legislative relief, the USPS would be insolvent by because itwill be unable to make the mandated $5.5 billion Retiree Health Benefitprefunding payment, will have exhausted its cash reserves, and will havereached its statutory borrowing authority of $15 billion.While NAPUS is relieved the President did not endorse the USPS proposal towithdraw from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and FERS, weare disappointed the Administration failed to acknowledge the $55-$75 billionin USPS pension overpayments to the U.S. Treasury – overpayments that arewell-documented by two independent actuarial firms. Providing the PostalService access to these surplus contributions is fair and equitable, and wouldhelp the Postal Service escape the ravages of the recession, and provide theagency with a means to meet its retiree prefunding obligation. Such a fix doesnot involve tax-payer money and the legislation (HR 1351) is pending beforeCongress. HR 1351 commands 206 bipartisan sponsors.

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