The postal reform bill currently working its way through Congress is seen to have a greater chance of passing than many previous efforts over the past several years largely because it has been championed by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), chairman of the House Government Operations Committee.
But Chaffetz now carries too much baggage from his stances on some higher profile national issues like repeal of the Affordable Healthcare Act and may not be around after the next Congressional election in 2018.
For that matter, how many Republican members of Congress will be around at all after passage of their repeal of the Healthcare Act earlier this month? Already vehement efforts are underway in this regard, reports the Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/obamacare-repeal-vulnerable-republicans_us_590f6625e4b0d5d9049d31ce?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009&ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009.
Even before the repeal vote Chaffetz was in trouble.
That’s because the Congressman had been so besieged by constituents and others that he decided not to run for re-election next year. And he more than deserves to be thrown out of office.
According to the Hill, Chaffetz, took some heat for declaring that loud attendees at the at a recent town hall meeting in his district were opposition political operatives who were paid to “bully and intimidate” him. But with a straight face, counseled them to pay for their own healthcare rather than the latest electronic gadgets showed how snotty, elitist and out of touch he is with ordinary Americans http://thehill.com/homenews/house/329458-chaffetz-wont-run-for-reelection-report.
This is the same man who shouted down protesters at a town hall meeting in his district, accusing them of being agents of the democratic left.
On top of that, his local approval rating was beginning to tank: a Utah Policy poll this month found that 52 percent of voters in his district approved of his performance in office, dropping 14 points from a Feb. 2016.
So where does that leave potential postal reform?
Since last year, Chaffetz has championed postal reform through H.R. 756, a postal reform bill that seeks at least in part to modify the postal service’s requirement to pay at least $5.8 billion a year to the U.S. Treasury to cover healthcare expenses for future retirees until the next century. That provision, part of the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, was hardly a USPS reform measure unless reform meant severely crippling the postal service if not driving the final nail in its coffin.
The Chaffetz-backed postal reform measure even won widespread support from postal unions as well as the business mailing community, according to Federal; Newsradio https://federalnewsradio.com/workforce/2017/02/postal-reform-legislation-continues-momentum-union-support/.
Since Chaffetz was already a lame duck before the healthcare repeal vote how could he now have enough influence to push USPS reform through his Committee?
Will postal reform die along with Chaffetz? Probably not. Some other member of Congress will probably take up the cause and the whole process will start over. But one thing’s for sure: the process will take a really long time.
Just look at what eventually became the 2006 reform law. The then-idea of postal reform had originally touted by former Postmaster General Marvin Runyon as far back as 1995.