This week, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., signaled his opposition to the “Postal Service Reform Act” which passed the U.S. House earlier this month.
Over in the U.S. House, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-NY, the chairwoman of the U.S. House Oversight and Reform, Committee and U.S. Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., the top Republican on the committee, steered the bill through the House on a 342-92 vote. More than 100 co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle–58 Democrats and 44 Republicans–lined up behind the proposal.
U.S. Reps. Al Lawson, D-Fla., Brian Mast, R-Fla., and Darren Soto, D-Fla., co-sponsored the bill.
“The American people asked for critical reforms to the Postal Service, and Ranking Member Comer and I delivered,” said Maloney. “Today’s historic bipartisan vote brings us one step closer to finally putting the Postal Service on a sound financial footing so it can continue serving all Americans for years to come. I call on Majority Leader Schumer to bring this critical reform bill to the Senate floor for a vote as soon as possible. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get this critical reform done to preserve and strengthen the Postal Service for future generations.”
“Today the People’s House delivered bipartisan legislation to modernize the Postal Service and ensure it remains a viable American institution,” said Comer. “The Postal Service Reform Act bolsters operational efficiencies, helps cement Postmaster General DeJoy’s reform plan, provides key oversight tools to enhance transparency, and ensures the six-day delivery of mail and packages for all Americans. These reforms ensure the Postal Service continues as an independently operated organization that Americans can continue to rely on for the years to come. With today’s strong vote, the Senate should take up this legislation without delay to place the Postal Service on the track to financial sustainability.”
Maloney’s office offered some of the rationales behind her proposal.
“The Postal Service’s financial condition has been deteriorating over the past decade due to a number of factors. The provisions included in the Postal Service Reform Act are critical to helping the Postal Service remain financially viable and ensuring it provides the high quality of service Americans expect and deserve. These provisions include Medicare integration, repealing a requirement for the Postal Service to pre-fund retiree health benefits, increased transparency of delivery service, reporting on Postal Service operations and finances, a requirement that the Postal Service deliver mail six days per week, and other matters,” Maloney’s office noted.
All 92 votes against Maloney’s proposal came from the GOP ranks. Every Democrat in the Florida delegation backed the proposal and they were joined by Florida Republican U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis, Mario Diaz-Balart, Carlos Gimenez, Mast, John Rutherford, Maria Elvira Salazar, Michael Waltz and Dan Webster. Florida Republican U.S. Reps. Vern Buchanan, Kat Cammack, Bryon Donalds, Scott Franklin, Matt Gaetz, Bill Posey and Greg Steube voted against the bill.
Now the fight heads towards the Senate where U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., has introduced a similar bill which has the support of 27 co-sponsors including more than a dozen Republicans including U.S. Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Josh Hawley of Missouri and Rob Portman of Ohio.
Scott’s office insisted the bill “does nothing to secure the future of postal workers and Medicare recipients or make the Postal Service more efficient” and the senators wants “full committee consideration of the legislation to improve and deliver a bill that truly works for the American people, protects Medicare solvency and provides a positive return on taxpayer dollars.”
This week, Scott blocked the bill on the Senate floor and urged the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to examine the proposal.
“I write to you today to request a projection of the budgetary effects of H.R. 3076, the Postal Service Reform Act of 2022, beyond the initial ten-year budget window, including the effects of the bill on the Medicare program,” Scott wrote the CBO director. “Please respond in writing with responses to the following questions as soon as possible: What are the budgetary effects of H.R. 3076 in Fiscal Years 2031 through 2040? What is the effect of the bill on the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, with the increased utilization of Medicare that this legislation will cause? What is the cost to the Medicare program over the next 20 years? What is the effect to Medicare premiums in Part B and D with the additional costs imposed by H.R. 3076 to the program?
“Without such information, Congress is unable to make informed policy decisions regarding this bill, its impact to Medicare, and the federal government’s long-term financial strength and stability. This information is urgent as Congress is currently considering this consequential piece of legislation on the floor of the U.S. Senate,” Scott added.
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