Senate Votes to Cover Its Own Ass on Postal Service Reform, Fails to Reform Postal Service

Ah, election year. When a young old senator's thoughts turn to seniors, local businesses, and other special interests.

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) can't go on this way. Something's gotta give if the USPS is going to meet pension obligations and generally stay afloat. There are only so many times you can increase the price of a first-class stamp before post office closure, Saturday delivery termination, or slower delivery have to be seriously considered. 

So what has the Senate decided to do? Today, the World's Greatest Deliberative Body, will get down to the important business of holding a bunch of votes on amendments to the postal reform bill explicitly designed to give members from rural districts and areas with lots of seniors plausible deniability come Election Day:

Lieberman, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) negotiated late last week to permit votes on the amendments as a way to keep skittish colleagues happy and to allow at least a few of them the opportunity to say they tried to protect small post offices, the concerns of senior citizens and home-state businesses that rely on or profit from the mailing industry. 

Lots more on the slow, dysfunctional progress of postal reform.

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  • NotSure||

    Is that stamp with Ayn Rand for real ? I would sooner expect Karl Marx on an American stamp than Rand, was she not one of the most hated people in America ?

  • Just Dropping By||

    She was an avid stamp collector (seriously).

  • JD||

    It's a real stamp.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Fuck the pol-stalservice. Shut the fucker down.

  • Pham Nuwen||

    We still have a postal service? It's 2012 dammit! Where are the transporters!?!??

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Oh yeah, fuck the postal police, too. Postal inspectors...

  • cthorm||

    Would Postal trucks even be street legal if they weren't owned/operated by the USPS? That's a bit of a road block in asset sales. Really though, it's past time to liquidate the USPS. No one has a problem using UPS or Fedex.

  • Tonio||

    I suspect that many old people "have problems" sending things via UPS or FedEx.

  • Rich||

    They also "have problems" placing orders and paying bills online.

  • Jerryskids||

    After postal reform, the Senate is slated to move to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, which is set to expire at the end of May.

    You have been warned. Or threatened.

  • ||

    It's really only a matter of time until the post office is cast into the dustbin of history. UPS and FedEx are raking in the money with so much Internet commerce necessitating delivery. The only thing holding them back is the restrictions on weekend delivery and using mailboxes. Eliminate that, and it's all over for the USPS.

  • o3||

    except there aint no profit model on rural routes....which are mainly red-state voters anyway.

  • John Thacker||

    Red-state voters, but just like Essential Air Service (here and here) and farm subsidies, it's the red-state Democrats who are the absolute worst on the issue.

  • R C Dean||

    Way to bury the lead, Katherine.

    That postal service bill breaks last year's debt and spending deal. The Dems are apparently confusing a ceiling on spending with a floor on spending, as they are arguing that a Republican bill to reduce spending below the ceiling breaks the deal, while pushing bills that increase spending above the ceiling.

  • Brett L||

  • Kwanzaa Cake||

    They have to break the spending deal to prevent THE SOCIAL DAHRWHINISMS!

  • ||

    We are so fucked.

  • Tonio||

    Two reasons: bulk mailers and old people.

    The junk mail industry, ie Val-Pak, have a business model that depends on cheap, subsidized mail rates.

    I wish someone would have the balls to tell the AARP: you can keep your post offices or you can have society pay your medical bills; not both. And I realize that the pure libertarian answer is "none of the above."

  • affenkopf||

    The pragmatic libertarian answer is: Take the post office, much cheaper than medicare.

  • Kwanzaa Cake||

    But Tonio, where does it stop? Today you want to prevent Grandma from getting her JC Penny catalog. Tomorrow you will want to cut her medicare. And the day after tomorrow, you will want to harvest her organs for your personal use. We have to draw the line somewhere, and that somewhere is the Postal Service.

  • Tak Kak||

    There was a group pushing to put Lysander Spooner on a stamp as well, hard to believe they were at all familiar with him.

  • Kwanzaa Cake||

    I heard that you can get mail electronically nowadays. Crazy!

  • John Thacker||

    9 Republicans voted with the Democrats to override the budget point of order and let the postal bill break the spending cap.

    The Mainers, Scott Brown, and Murkowski (all obvious), Moran and Roberts of Kansas, Cochran of Mississippi, Blunt of Missouri, Hoeven of North Dakota.

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