Senate committee cuts off postal markup

The Senate Homeland Security Committee cut off consideration of a bipartisan postal measure on Wednesday, after lawmakers requested changes to two amendments.

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The panel, in an at times spirited mark-up, considered close to a dozen amendments before calling it a day, and the committee’s chairman, Sen. Tom CarperTom CarperDems probe claims of religious bias in DHS 'trusted traveler' program Senate Dems want Trump to release ethics waivers, visitor logs Medicare’s coverage decisions need more input from physicians MORE (D-Del.), has yet to say when they’ll pick the measure up again.

During the mark-up, both Carper and the committee’s top Republican, Sen. Tom CoburnTom CoburnFreedom Caucus saved Paul Ryan's job: GOP has promises to keep Don't be fooled: Carper and Norton don't fight for DC Coburn: Trump's tweets aren't presidential MORE (Okla.), suggested it had been a struggle to get a bill ready for mark-up.

Carper and Coburn first released their postal measure in August, and Carper has been forced to delay several mark-ups in recent months

The most recent effort, Carper said, “is not the proposal I would put forward if I had my way. I'm sure Dr. Coburn and the rest of my colleagues would say the same thing.”

For his part, Coburn said that he’d never worked on a measure as long as the postal proposal.

In their bill, Carper and Coburn seek to give the Postal Service – which lost $5 billion in fiscal 2013 – relief from the required prepayments for future retiree healthcare that have accounted for a majority of the agency’s losses the last couple of years.

The measure would also give the Postal Service more latitude to raise stamp prices and to roll back delivery standards, create a new health benefits program, give the agency new revenue streams and try to smooth out the collective bargaining process.

An amendment from Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulWe can put America first by preventing public health disasters Conservative activists want action from Trump McConnell: 'Big challenge' to pass ObamaCare repeal in Senate MORE (R-Ky.) that would allow private citizens to carry guns in the public areas of post offices, as long as that was allowed by state and local laws, is one of the two that needs to be modified.

“Some lawmakers wanted the language to be more specific and Senator Paul is working on addressing those concerns,” a spokeswoman for the Kentucky Republican said.

The other amendment that needs modifying is from Sen. Tammy BaldwinTammy BaldwinLawmakers talk climate for Earth Day, Science March Trump says he supports Dem ‘Buy America’ bill Picking 2018 candidates pits McConnell vs. GOP groups MORE (D-Wis.), who opposes the proposals that give the Postal Service more oversight over its pricing structure.

Both postal unions and the mailing industry have said they oppose the Carper and Coburn measure as currently written.