for enactment would be August1, the date on which the USPS is
required to make last year’s $5.6
billion retiree FEHBP prefundingpayment.Over the next month, Issa willattempt to shore-up supportwithin the House GOP Confer-ence. Once he can assure Speak-er John Boehner and MajorityLeader Eric Cantor that he hasthe votes, he will ask Cantor toschedule the bill for floor action.A few days prior to floor consid-eration, the Rules Committee,will schedule a hearing on H.R.2309 to consider the amendmentprocess and how the legislationwill be debated on the Housefloor. Subsequently, the Housewill debate and vote on the
“rule” for consideration of H.R.
2309. Assuming the rule is adopt-ed, the House will proceed toconsider the postal bill and theamendments made in order un-der the rule.S. 1789 sponsors, as well as abipartisan group of key Housemembers are urging the HouseLeadership to take up the Senate-passed measure, instead of H.R.2309. (NAPUS has long-supported S. 1789.) ChairmanIssa has been extremely dis-missive of the Senate bill, and hasposted inflammatory video depic-tions of Senate sponsors of S.1789. Wait until they meet inConference!Over the past two months, sup-port of the Issa-Ross postal bill(H.R. 2309) has been limited to anumber of daily newspapers,including the
, andTea Party-leaning interest groups.The advertising-funded printmedia have never been fans of the Postal Service, because theindustry views the USPS as acompetitor
newspapers sellad space and the USPS marketsdirect mail. Tea Party allies des-pise anything reeking of publicservice, and, therefore, cannotstomach the existence of a well-respected governmental agency.Hence, these groups advocatelegislation that demeans theUSPS. (The PMG mused aboutsupport at a March hearing, butwithin hours clarified his re-marks.)As adopted by the House Over-sight and Government ReformCommittee, the postal bill threatlevel, in Homeland Security par-lance, is
“elevated” risk, rather than
. In part, therisk assessment is based uponthe potential for enactment, asdrafted. Currently, the Commit-tee-approved bill, lacks the nec-essary level of support to bringthe bill to the House floor for avote. Unlike the Senate-passedbill, S. 1789, which garneredbroad bipartisan support, theauthors of H.R. 2309 are notmaking a concerted effort toexpand its target group beyondthe GOP. Also, rural GOPHouse members have publiclyexpressed deep concern aboutthe Issa-
Ross bill’s impact on
their constituents. Consequently,Chairman Darrell Issa hasreached out to GOP members of the Congressional Rural Caucus,led by Rep. Adrian Smith (NE), inan attempt to develop a series of amendments that could generatesupport within the House Repub-lican Conference, a deficiencythat has thus far precludedHouse action on the bill.With the partisan division of theHouse (242 GOP vs. 190 Dems)and assuming all Democrats voteNO on the bill, Issa cannot spare
more than 26 of his own party’s
members on key amendments oron final passage. This number isnot lost on House GOP Leader-ship. 36 GOP House membersbelong to the Rural Caucus, anessential and cohesive group thathas expressed concern about thebill. The rural number does notinclude non-rural GOP memberswho oppose moving to 5-daydelivery or those who are notanti-union. So, the House GOPLeadership will need to
itsmembers to accurately deter-mine if Issa has the votes.
NAPUS’ best guess is that H.R.
2309 will come to the flooraround the July 4th Recess; thelast week in June, or the secondweek in July. The House target
Does the Issa-Ross Bill Pose a Credible Threat tothe USPS?
eNAPUS Legislative and PoliticalBulletin
MAY 18, 2012VOLUME 9, ISSUE 5
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