February 6, 2014 Last Updated 5:12 pm

Postal Reform: Senate committee says no to amendment backed by MPA, but yes to guns amendment

When it comes to a power play between magazine publishers and gun owners in Washington DC, publishers don’t stand a chance.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, by a vote of 9 to 1 approved moving the 2014 Postal Reform Act to the Senate floor. The bill, crafted by Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) is intended to reform the financially troubled U.S. Postal Service through a number of measures including creating a health-insurance option within the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.

Two amendments were debated before the measure was moved by the committee. The first, proposed by Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), was backed by business mailers including the MPA – The Association of Magazine Media. The amendment would have struck a section of the new legislation and kept the existing CPI price cap, as well as the Postal Regulatory Commission rate review authority. The amendment was voted down.

“In rejecting this amendment, the Committee has rubber-stamped ongoing postage rate hikes and greatly weakened the independent Postal Regulatory Commission, leaving USPS as an essentially unregulated, government-sanctioned monopoly,” the MPA said in a statement.

“Today’s action could also preempt judicial review of last month’s rate hike, which was three times the rate of inflation, and make permanent the exigent increase. These rate hikes will hurt businesses, cost thousands of people their jobs, and do nothing to right-size the USPS’s bloated infrastructure. This isn’t the postal reform we need. Instead, the Committee wants to pass the buck to the private sector, whose interests have been ignored.”

The fear of commercial mailers is that they will be asked to pay more for postage, which in turn will drive down volume, negating any revenue gains the Postal Service is anticipating.

The committee did, however, vote for guns. The committee unanimously passed an amendment that would allow people to carry guns on postal service property. The measure, introduced by Senator Mark Begich (D-Alaska) was a somewhat more moderate version of an amendment proposed by Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) which would allowed guns inside post offices. Paul’s amendment was voted down 9 to 6.

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  • Retired Postal 3 years ago

    What is the purpose of carrying guns on Postal property? Should employees bring guns to work. You guys are out of control. Stick to the issues and get something done. So sick of this BS coming out of Congress.

    • 5 DAY IS THE RIGHT WAY 3 years ago

      AMEN

  • Tony 3 years ago

    Washington D.C has become nothing but a cluster f…! It is time for America to wake up, get off their lazy entitled asses, get to the polls on election day and vote! If you like what is happening and the results then send these slugs back D.C… If not… Get rid of them in the same fashion they are trying to get rid of you!

  • Bob 3 years ago

    It might have made it through committee but it will get voted down in the senate

    • stephen kozikowski 3 years ago

      Hopefully, as I think that it does not address the financial problem with USPS and does not address some Medicare issues such as retirees with spouses not Medicare eligible. It would weaken the purchasing power of OPM to negotiate insurance rates and benefits for all Federal employees. I would question if the PMG and his higher VP would be put in the separate health plan.

  • Retired Mailman 3 years ago

    As I remember the debate, the amendment would allow the public to leave their firearms in their parked vehicles while they were in the post office.