Trump‘s Budget Disses USPS, Other Agencies

Well, President Trump or, more probably, the likes of Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and other reprehensible people in his inner circle have discovered the U.S. Postal Service and are proposing some tired old prescriptions that have been soundly rejected before.

Like cutting out Saturday delivery and otherwise reducing services.

If nobody has been paying any attention, the idea of cutting out six-day-a-week delivery died several years ago after Congress decided it was in their interests to keep mail service levels intact and that reducing it wouldn’t really save that much money anyway. Even Postmaster General Megan Brennan even dropped it from the USPS’s wish list.

Trump’s proposals, which are buried deep within his proposed budget, also mandate cutting out front door delivery and reducing employee benefits. Doing this is supposed to y save $46 billion over 10 years, according to Government Executive http://www.govexec.com/management/2017/05/trump-suggests-usps-cut-retirement-health-benefits-46b-savings-package/138099/?oref=govexec_today_nl.

Other proposals are more pernicious like allowing the postal service to reduce delivery frequency when there “is a business case for doing so.”

Going this route would severely affect rural communities which have fought hard for years to keep what services they have. Ironically, these are people who voted overwhelmingly for Trump.

Other proposals call for allowing post office to offer local government services in addition to their regular offerings and adding extra “flexibility” to how the USPS finances are handled. This is something everybody has been seeking for more than 25 years and made more urgent after the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006, which established the more than $5.8 billion obligation to cover healthcare costs for future retirees, according to Linn’s Stamp News
http://www.linns.com/news/postal-updates/2017/may/president-trump-2018-budget-usps-cost-cutting-initiatives.html.

Does this wish list have any chance to see the light of day?

Not likely since so many other Trump proposals like gutting the Environmental Protection Agency and Planned Parenthood as well as food stamps and even Social Security Disability insurance are totally dead on arrival. Remember¸ all these programs are well entrenched and very popular. All Republican Members of Congress have to get re-elected in 2018 and many of them are still hearing from their constituents in town hall meetings in their districts.

Separately, postal reform suffered a serious setback when Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz, Chairman of the House Government Operations Committee, said he would retire at the end of this month, according to Normangee Star http://normangeestar.net/2017/05/22/rep-jason-chaffetz-announces-resignation-from-congress-effective-june-30/.

For more than a year, Chaffetz has guided H.R. 756, a postal reform bill through his Committee that would reduce the postal service’s future retiree healthcare obligation and provide other reforms so much so that it even won support from postal unions, according to Federal News Radio Federal; Newsradio https://federalnewsradio.com/workforce/2017/02/postal-reform-legislation-continues-momentum-union-support/.

At this moment, it’s unclear if other committee members will have the same ardor for pushing through postal reform this year,
More likely, other issues will take center stage first, especially after the President unilaterally walked away from the Paris climate accords.

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This entry was posted in Congress, Donald Trump, Postal Accountabillity and Enhancement Act, Postal employees, postal facilities, postal finances, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Republican Party Platform and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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