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Federal Employees News Digest : June 24, 2013
usurp functions currently performed by Congress’s oversight, authorizing and appropriations committees. “Short-circuiting congressional oversight and debate on something as critical as the role of, and funding for, federal agencies risks making Congress irrelevant,” Kelley said. “Congress’s role is to legislate, with input from interested parties, expert advice and healthy debate—not to potentially rub- berstamp a commission’s proposals.” See more at: http://oversight.house.gov/ hearing/reinventing-government/. Draft of postal reform bill debuts House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) this month released a “dis- cussion draft” of a new postal reform bill. The draft, which is intended spur renewed dialog on postal reform in advance of the bill’s formal introduction, contains a slate of familiar measures, but also some new ones seemingly aimed at gaining broader buy-in from other lawmakers. One measure outlined in the draft would provide legislative relief that USPS and unions alike have been calling for— the lifting of an onerous retiree health benefits prepayment requirement that has helped put the U.S. Postal Service in the red. The new bill would restructure USPS funding of its retiree health care benefits by basing all future payments on an actuarial calculation that would achieve full funding in 2056. The new structure would begin in 2014 and take into account the billions of dollars in prefunding payments that currently are overdue. The bill also would “create a perma- nent mechanism” to ensure that sur- pluses in USPS pension accounts would not be used to fund USPS operating losses. Instead, the draft proposes setting up an annual schedule that would use projected pension surpluses to pay down the unfunded liability for retiree health benefits. But the draft bill also continues to con- tain several measures that are anathema to postal unions—such as shifting to a modified delivery schedule and making changes to postal pay and benefits. Under a new delivery schedule out- lined in the draft—sought by USPS, but so far overruled by Congress and opposed by postal unions—USPS would maintain Saturday delivery of packages and medicine, but phase out Saturday delivery of other mail. Issa says the move would save at least $2 billion per year. The bill also would phase out remaining “to the door” mail delivery and replace it with curbside and “clusterbox” delivery, which Issa said would save $4 billion or more a year. The proposed act also calls for “nor- malizing” postal workers’ pay and ben- efits by requiring them to pay the same June 24, 2013 Vol. 62, No. 47 4 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com continued from page 3 FedCentral YOUR FEDERAL EMPLOYEE RESOURCE • Job Listings • Government Contacts • Links to Discount Sites for Feds • Chart of the Month • And more! VISIT FEDCENTRAL NOW! http://federaldaily.com/pages/fedcentral.aspx FEND-fedcentral-hpa.indd 1 6/18/13 11:38 AM continued on page 5
June 17, 2013
July 1, 2013