A bipartisan group of senators closely tracking the fate of the U.S. Postal Service is set to unveil legislation Wednesday that would overhaul the mail agency’s finances.
Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Thomas Carper (D-Del.) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.) are set to unveil a bill “to pull the USPS from the brink of financial failure,” their offices said Tuesday.
Aides don’t plan to publicly unveil details in advance, but some familiar with the negotiations said the new bill merges components from separate proposals previously introduced by Carper and Collins — the two senators who most closely track postal affairs.
Carper’s bill essentially gives USPS everything it wants — the right to end Saturday mail deliveries, close post offices, raise postage rates beyond the rate of inflation and return at least some money paid into federal retirement and health-care accounts to address billions of dollars in losses.
Collins’s bill would keep Saturday mail deliveries while restructuring USPS’s labor costs.
Notably absent from Wednesday’s announcement is Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who is sponsoring the Senate version of a House bill written by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) that would establish a financial control board to address postal finances and potentially lead to hundreds of thousands of postal worker layoffs.
Aides familiar with the plans said McCain plans to keep sponsoring his current bill.
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