In a different political climate Postal Reform legislation would make its way seamlessly through Congress and be quietly signed into law by the President. Postal legislation has long been a bi partisan issue. That political climate no longer exists mainly because the GOP (Guardians Of the Powerful) are focused on grinding government to a halt and manufacturing controversies to divert voters short attention span. The Senate has passed a flawed Postal Reform bill S1789 and it’s now time for the House of Representatives to act. The problem is postal reform legislation is currently stalled in the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
The full House has not taken any action on postal reform as Congressman Darrell Issa the head of this very powerful Committee has thwarted any postal legislation other than his draconian HR 2309, that has 2 cosponsors. Last November his bill passed out of the Committee with only GOP support 22-18. HR 2309 does not address the pre funding mandate issue instead it exploits the manufactured crisis for advancing an ideological anti worker agenda.
HR2309 would create a non-elected five-person panel that would oversee the closure of thousands of post offices and other facilities. This would result in the loss of thousands of middle class jobs. It would also eliminate Saturday mail delivery within 6 months of passage. Which would compound the USPS financial situation, as it would reduce 4% of USPS costs while losing 17% of postal revenue. Plus to make this bill even worse it mandates 75% of door to door delivery be consolidated at central delivery points in 2 years and 90% in four years. Imagine the elderly walking to the end of the street to get their mail. It would effectively destroy the USPS.
While at the same time a bi partisan and sensible postal reform bill HR1351 has 229 co sponsors! (Including NH-2 Charlie Bass) lies dormant. Not even being brought up for a vote by the committee. HR 1351 would set the wheels in motion to put the USPS on long-term financial stability.
The GOP members of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee have been the beneficiary of Hundreds of Thousands of dollars from the billionaire conservative Koch Brothers (more info). It could be argued they have bought Issa’s committee as well as Issa himself, who has become the wealthiest politician in America.
This brings us to New Hampshire’s own Frank Guinta who sits on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee and has benefited from the Koch Brothers in an extreme way. Not only did the Koch brothers give Guinta a contribution of $5000 during his 2010 campaign but also their PAC Americans for Prosperity spent over $72,000 attacking Carol Shea Porter during her race with Guinta. Carol was one of only two members of congress that did not accept corporate PAC or DC Lobby money and was unable to rebuke all the misleading attacks. Those relentless attack ads swayed enough information challenged voters to allow Mr. Guinta to win a seat in congress. Koch Brothers bought and control a seat in congress that was supposed to represent the people of NH Congressional District 1.
The US Postal Service has an 83% favorable rating according to the Pew Research Center, easily the highest among government agencies. This week Gallup released a poll that places Congress at a 17% favorable rating. Appropriately mirror images! While the USPS binds the nation together the Guardians Of the Powerful in Congress want to tear the government apart so the wealthy elite can exploit workers with impunity.