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Updated: Oct. 22 (16:43)

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Voluntary Benefits Plan

House Inaction Brings USPS To Brink of Default – Again
Posted On: Oct 06, 2012

House Inaction Brings USPS
To Brink of Default – Again

APWU Web News Article 115-2015, Sept. 28, 2012

(09/28/12) House inaction to resolve the congressionally-manufactured USPS financial crisis has brought the Postal Service to the brink of default for the second time in two months, President Cliff Guffey is warning APWU members.

The USPS has announced that, “absent legislative action,” it will be unable to make a $5.6 billion payment to the U.S. Treasury to prefund future retiree health benefits on Sept. 30.

As was the case with the prefunding payment that was due August 1, “the failure to make the payment will have no immediate impact on mail delivery or employees’ pay,” Guffey said.

“House Republican leaders have recessed until after the elections in November, and have abandoned their responsibility to address the USPS crisis,” said Guffey. “Their failure demonstrates once again how crucial it is to change the political dynamic in our country.”

“APWU members must help take control of the House from extremists who seek to destroy the USPS,” Guffey said. “Union members must vote in November, and they must be actively involved in the run-up to the election encouraging their families, friends and neighbors to do the same.”

The Senate passed a bipartisan postal reform bill in April, but legislation introduced in the House by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) — which would destroy the Postal Service as we know it — has stalled. Postal unions and our allies spent much of the past year opposing Rep. Issa’s bill and pushing alternative legislation that would relieve the Postal Service of the onerous pre-funding requirement and return overpayments made by the Postal Service into its pension accounts.

With Congress in recess until after the November elections, there is a danger that Rep. Issa and other House Republicans will attempt to attach provisions of his bill to a must-pass funding measure during the lame-duck session that will occur between Election Day and the inauguration of the new Congress in January.

The “must-pass” legislation is intended to avoid automatic across-the-board spending cuts scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1.

“APWU members must remain vigilant during the lame-duck session and be prepared to put the necessary pressure on Congress to prevent anti-postal legislation from being inserted into the funding bill,” Guffey warned.


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Action Center

Support HR630 and S316 Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) have introduced legislation which addresses many of the problems currently facing the U.S. Postal Service. Most importantly, the bills introduced in both the House and the Senate would provide significant financial relief to the Postal Service by ending the unfair, unnecessary and unprecedented requirement that it pre-fund a large share of the costs of retiree health benefits in a 10-year period. If enacted, the "Postal Service Protection Act" would: 1. Fix the Postal Service’s immediate financial crisis by ending the mandate that requires the USPS to pre-fund healthcare benefits for future retirees – a burden no other government agency or private company bears. 2. Allow the Postal Service to recover over-payments the USPS made to federal pension plans; 3. Re-establish overnight delivery standards for first-class mail, which would ensure the timely delivery of mail, help keep mail processing facilities open, and protect jobs; 4. Protect six-day delivery; 5. Allow the USPS to develop new products and services that would generate new sources of revenue, and 6. Protect rural post offices by giving give the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) binding authority to prevent post offices from being closed based on the effect on the community and the effect on the employees. Please immediately contact your U.S. Representative and both Senators to urge them to cosponsor and work for passage of these important bills. http://capwiz.com/apwu/mailapp/
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