By Bernie Becker - 10/12/11 10:00 AM EDT
The House GOP measure to overhaul USPS is focused on reducing labor costs, which has drawn the ire of postal unions. The bill, a version of which has been introduced in the Senate by John McCain (R-Ariz.), creates a new oversight board that would recommend post office closures and rolls back door-to-door delivery.
In its ads, first unveiled last month, the postal unions put the blame for the Postal Service’s financial problems on the need to prepay for retiree health care, a burden it says that other federal entities don’t have to deal with.
“Congress created this problem, and Congress can fix it," the ad says.
Both Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Tom Carper (D-Del.) have introduced bills that would allow USPS some help with that payment by allowing them access to what they and the agency says is an overpayment into the Federal Employees Retirement System.
Senate aides hope that the chamber’s Homeland Security panel can mark up legislation revamping USPS this month.
The agency itself has also taken to the airwaves in recent weeks, with spots trying to play up the safety of regular mail.