All 11 of the key mailing industry associations in Washington, D.C. met with postal management on December 4th to discuss our latest with regard to postal reform. There is no “deal” yet and the parties are not publically working on a deal. There is a great deal of work at the staff level on the Hill and many proposals are going back and forth. The Senate and House Leadership on Government Reform wants to get this done but if anything gets done, it may not be substantive and it may only be designed to push the issue into the 213th Congress that starts up in January.
Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) who is retiring at the end of the term tried to move forward a compromise bill with House “Conferees.” This is not a real conference committee but just an informal working conference to see if something can get done. He would have eliminated Saturday delivery except for parcels, reworked the healthcare accrual and returned FERS to the USPS. However, there was less than 50 percent of the “conferees” supporting the Lieberman plan so it sits waiting for the House to come back with new ideas. There has been a great deal of talk at the staff level but nothing substantive yet. The good news is that everyone is talking, the bad news is that not much is public or on paper yet.