What would you do with $23 million dollars?
That’s how much the Postal Service says it’s losing every day, adding up to billions of dollars in debt. Unless Congress acts before May 15, thousands of post offices and hundreds of processing facilities across the country will close. The Senate and the House of Representatives are working on bills aimed at getting the Postal Service out of debt and back to being a profitable business.
On Tuesday the Senate began voting on 39 amendments to its postal reform bill S.1789. It will finish up voting Wednesday afternoon.
The amendments that passed would:
-Give customers a chance to voice their thoughts on post office closures
-Increase transparency in the agency by requiring travel expenses to be posted online and reduce unnecessary spending by capping annual travel expenses
-Guarantee six-day mail delivery during election seasons
-Offer postal services at places like pharmacies and grocery stores
-Put a hold on rural post office closures for at least one year
-Establish a Postal Rate Commission to look into potential cost savings of closing a processing center, rather than relying on studies for that information
-Prohibit reducing workforce at certain facilities
-Allow the appointment of a “citizen’s service protection advocate” who represents postal customers affected by a post office closure or consolidation
These amendments did NOT pass:
-Establish a Commission on Postal Reorganization
-Force eligible employees to retire
-Keep the current six-day delivery service
-Replace current workers’ compensation provisions with another
-Go to five-day delivery immediately
-Ask the Postmaster General to consult with supervisors about pay policies and schedules (clarification: this is not about collective bargaining)
-End the Postal Service’s monopoly on use of mailboxes
Keep in mind these are amendments to a bill that has yet to be passed. The bill needs 60 “yes” votes in the Senate before it can move to the House. Even if the bill gets there, it would have to be reconciled with the House bill. That’s not an easy task.
We’ll keep you “posted” on updates.
— Susanna Pak, Medill News Service
What happens when police get a hold of more than 3,000 stolen goods, including wooden horse statues, a signed Walter Payton helmet and historic guns? They put it on display for investigators in the hopes of catching the thieves and returning the items to their owners.