Anti-Privatization Resolutions Re-Introduced in Congress
(This article first appeared in the March/April 2019 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)
By Legislative & Political Department Director Judy Beard
House representatives in the 116th Congress wasted no time displaying their opposition to the White House plan to privatize the Postal Service. On Jan. 9, Representative Stephen Lynch (D-MA-8), along with 12 original, bi-partisan co-sponsors, re-introduced the resolution to ensure the USPS is not subject to privatization. This resolution (H. Res 33) already had 205 co-sponsors as this issue went to press, reaffirming strong support for the public Postal Service. The companion Senate resolution, S. Res. 99, was introduced by Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) on March 7, and has 30 co-sponsors.
Stopping the sale of the Postal Service is dependent upon constituents speaking out to their members of Congress. Let’s make our voice heard in 2019.
As Congress approaches their spring recess (tentatively scheduled for April 14-28), I encourage you to reach out to your representative’s and senators’ offices and schedule appointments with them. Thank them for their support if they have already signed on to the resolution, orspeak to them about the value of public, universal postal services, and ask them to become a co-sponsor.
Updates on the fight against postal privatization can be found on usmailnotforsale.org.
APWU Legislative Priorities
H.Res. 23 – Expresses the sense that members of the House of Representatives should take all actions in order to ensure door delivery for businesses and residents by the USPS remains intact. Door delivery increases revenue for the Postal Service; reduces incidents of mail theft; and, aids seniors and those with disabilitiesin receiving their mail.
H.Res. 33 & S.Res. 99 – Expresses the sense that the House of Representatives and the Senate should take all appropriate measures to ensure the United States Postal Service remains independent and will not be subject to privatization. Privatization would accomplish nothing but increases in postal rates and a reduction of services, especially to those living in suburban and rural areas. Privatization would also jeopardize postal jobs, undermining the Postal Service’s ability to complete its constitutionally mandated mission and goals.
H.Res. 54 – Expresses the sense that the House of Representatives will ensure the United States Postal Service will continue six-day delivery services. As many Americans depend on mail delivery for items such as medicine, financial documents, and as a basic lifeline, six-day delivery ensures that services are not degraded.
H.Res. 60 – Expresses the sense that the United States Postal Service should take appropriate measure to restore the service standards that were in effect as of July 1, 2012. The standards that were in place in 2012 would strengthen postal employees’ abilities to meet customers’ increased demands on first-class mail and parcel delivery.
Vote By Mail Act (S. 26 & H.R. 92) – Requires every state to provide mail ballots for federal elections to registered voters. The legislation also provides for automatic voter registration through states’ motor vehicle authorities. Vote by mail initiatives in Oregon and Colorado have already proven to increase voter participation and decrease states’ election expenses.
Raise the Wage Act (S. 150 & H.R. 582) – Gradually increases the federal minimum wage to $15.00 an hour by 2024. If passed, over 40 million people would see an increase of wages resulting in a $3,500 raise by 2024, which would then increase national economic growth.
Expand Social Security Act (S. 478 & H.R. 1170) – Removes the cap on payroll taxes, making sure those at the top pay their fair share. This would make the fund fully solvent. The bills would also increase benefits, provide higher cost-of-living and prescription drug cost adjustments, and provide an additional $1,300 per year to low income seniors.
Medicare for All Act (H.R. 1384) – Guarantees quality health care benefits for all Americans through expanded Medicare program. The legislation would fully cover primary care and hospital stays for all Americans, without co-pays or deductibles, and provides maternity, prescription drug, vision, and dental benefits.