Senate approves eight amendments to postal reform bill, plans to continue Wednesday

Of the eight amendments the Senate approved (some of which were approved by voice vote) so far, they generally introduce prerequisites to closing postal offices. For instance, the amendment (S. Amdt. 2058) introduced by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) lets communities streamline aspects of local postal offices, like how many hours they are open. An amendment introduced by Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) requires the United States Postal Rate Commission to consider methodology and costs of local mail processing reports (S. Amdt. 2080) before any changes to postal facilities.

An amendment introduced by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) (S. Amdt. 2082), approved by voice vote, "prohibits" the postal service from cutting the workforce or all-together closing certain postal offices. Similarly, an amendment by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), also approved by voice vote, introduces a limit on how many postal offices in rural areas can be closed without meeting certain requirements.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla) also introduced an amendment (S. Amdt. 2060), which the chamber approved by voice vote, which requires the mail service to post all service spending online. Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) also introduced an amendment also modifies spending for closing postal service facilities. The amendment (S. 2056), approved by voice vote, caps spending for conferences by all federal agencies, including but also the USPS.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced an amendment (S. Amdt. 2020) meant to exclude closing postal offices or make changes to postal services that would change the outcome of elections through affecting votes made through the mail.

Sen. Michael Bennet's (D-Colo.) amendment creates a commission of "citizen's service protection advocates" charged with representing Americans' public interest of the mail service. Bennet's amendment, (S. Amdt. 2047), was approved by voice vote.

The amendments the Senate voted on that did not pass were:

McCain amendment in the nature of a substitute. (#2001) Withdrawn.

McCain amendment to establish the Commission on Postal Reorganization. Establishes a commission for U.S. Postal Service reorganization. (#2033)

Coburn amendment to require retirement-eligible employees of the Postal Service to retire. (#2061)

Udall (NM) amendment to strike the limitations on changes to mail delivery schedule, with an offset. (#2043)

Akaka amendment to provide appropriate workers compensation for Federal employees. (#2034)

Corker amendment to improve the bill. (#2083)

Mikulski amendment to prohibit the United States Postal Service from closing any postal facility without a certification from the Governor of the State in which the postal facility is located. (#2003)

Paul amendment to end the mailbox use monopoly. (#2025)

More in Scheduling

Wednesday: Spending bill, VA

Read more »