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May 13, 2021
Today, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform favorably reported the two postal bills introduced earlier this week by Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney.
H.R. 3076, the Postal Service Reform Act, was approved by voice vote, without amendment. As referenced in yesterday's post, the core of the bill would repeal the Postal Service's requirement to prefund retiree health benefits, and would integrate Medicare and FEHBP for postal employee's retiring on or after January 1, 2023. Other provisions in the bill include greater postal performance transparency, clarification of postal authority to partner with other government agencies, and a series of reporting requirements relating to rate-setting and implementation of the 10-year plan. Upon introduction, H.R. 3076 was also referred to the House Ways and Means Committee, and the House Energy and Commerce Committee of its provisions relating to Medicare. As of yet, the committees have not scheduled a meeting to consider the measure.
The Oversight and Reform Committee also favorably reported H.R. 3077, the Postal Service Improvement Act, by a 23-17 majority. As mentioned yesterday, this bill, as introduced would enable the Postal Service to better track mail election ballots and would provide postal employees with the same paid parental leave as extended to other federal employees. In addition, the committee approved, by voice vote, two NAPS-promoted amendments offered by Rep. Gerry Connolly. The first Connolly amendment extends Merit System Protection Board appeal rights to EAS-level postal employees who are presently denied that right. The second Connolly Amendment would require the prompt commencement of EAS pay talks, upon the imminent expiration of an existing pay-package, and would make the findings and recommendations of the legally prescribed Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service fact-finding panel binding on the Postal Service. The committee also approved amendments to maintain current mail service standards, provide congressional access to postal facilities, finance the acquisition of electric postal vehicles, authorize the use of postal employees in the conduct of the 2030 decennial census, and merge the functions of the Postal Inspector General and Postal Regulatory Commission Inspector General. The anticipated amendment to enable the Postal Service to carry alcoholic beverages was withdrawn.
While the House panel was considering H.R. 3076 and H.R. 3077, the Senate confirmed the nomination of Amber McReynolds to the Postal Board of Governors, by a 59-38 majority, for a term ending in December 2026. A day earlier, the Senate confirmed former Deputy Postmaster General Ron Stroman, by a 69-30, for the completion of a term expiring December 2021, and by a 66-32 majority for a term ending in December 2028. Nominee Anton Hajjar still awaits Senate floor action.