Senate Democrats are seeking to amend a U.S. Postal Service reform bill to minimize potentially closing mail offices, while Senate Republicans want to tack on amendments that would curtail collective bargaining rights for union mail service employees and reduce costs.
On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidAfter healthcare fail, 4 ways to revise conservative playbook Dem senator 'not inclined to filibuster' Gorsuch This obscure Senate rule could let VP Mike Pence fully repeal ObamaCare once and for all MORE (D-Nev.) announced a compromise over which amendments the chamber would consider attaching to S.1789, the 21st Century Postal Service Act. The agreement, to vote on 39 amendments from both Republicans and Democrats, came after Reid used a procedural move to stop Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulThe Hill's 12:30 Report This week: GOP picks up the pieces after healthcare defeat Trump, GOP fumble chance to govern MORE (R-Ky.) from adding an amendment that would have cut off American aid to Egypt. Reid said the amendment was too broad.
For example, Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillUnder pressure, Dems hold back Gorsuch support Overnight Defense: General warns State Department cuts would hurt military | Bergdahl lawyers appeal Trump motion | Senators demand action after nude photo scandal The Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee MORE (D-Mo.) is proposing an amendment that would "prohibit the closing of a rural post office unless certain conditions are met and to establish a moratorium on the closing of rural post offices." Similarly, Senate Majority Whip Dick DurbinDick DurbinThe Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Gorsuch rewrites playbook for confirmation hearings Gorsuch: I'm 'sorry' for ruling against autistic student MORE (D-Ill.) is offering an amendment that keeps "the Postal Service from closing, consolidating, or reducing the workforce of certain postal facilities." Sen. Charles SchumerCharles SchumerAndrew Cuomo 2020? Democrats should say 'Fugetaboutit' Dems delay Senate panel vote on Supreme Court nominee Could Trump and the Democrats make 'ObamaCare Lite' any lighter? MORE (D-N.Y.), the top messaging Democrat in the chamber, has an amendment meant to "maintain all current door delivery point services."
Meanwhile, Paul is offering a number of amendments to curtail union bargaining rights for mail service employees. For example, one amendment prohibits employees "from engaging in collective bargaining." Paul is also proposing an amendment that closes "post offices in the Capitol Complex." Another, also sponsored by Paul, makes the mail service "take into consideration the impact of regulations when developing a profitability plan."
Sen. Jim DeMint is also offering an amendment that protects "postal workers with respect to their right not to subsidize union nonrepresentational activities." Sen. Tom CoburnTom CoburnDon't be fooled: Carper and Norton don't fight for DC Coburn: Trump's tweets aren't presidential The road ahead for America’s highways MORE's (R-Okla.) amendment would let the service "close unprofitable office facilities."
Both Senate Republicans and their Democratic counterparts spent the last week or so debating the postal bill. Both sides argued strongly in support of reforming the service so that it could avoid going broke, but the amendments to which the chamber agreed suggest two different approaches to how the service should be saved.