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Fri Feb 8, 2013, 12:58 PM

How the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act was passed

This thread shows how devious and un-American this Postal Act was passed.


Part 1: HR 22 January 4, 2005 – February 9, 2006 *failed*

It seems this bill has been in the works for years. Where we can catch-up to it is in the 109th Congress (2005-2006). On January 4, 2005, HR 22, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act was introduced by Rep John McHugh (R-NY23). It came out of committee on April 13, 2005.

There were 163 cosponsors of the bill: 104 Democrats, 58 Republicans, and 1 independent. Well-known Democrats and Independents (just one) were part of the cosponsor list. It passed the House on Jul 26, 2005. The vote was 410 to 20 – quite the bipartisan vote.

Then on February 9, 2006, the Senate passed the bill. I am not sure how they passed the bill, as there was not a recorded vote.

Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act:

Senate passed H.R. 22, to reform the postal laws of the United States, after striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof, the text of S. 662, Senate companion measure, after agreeing to the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute, and the following amendments proposed thereto:

Pages S898-S943

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CREC-2006-02-09/html/CREC-2006-02-09-pt1-PgD73.htm


It is also important to note that the ‘pre-funding of the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefit Fund (Title VIII, Section 8909a) in the above bill (HR 22) did not have the precise dollar amount payment schedule (e.g. ‘$5.4B not later than Sept 30, 2007’ that the enacted bill has). Instead, there were formulas.

HR 22 died after the Senate passed the bill with changes.


Link to the above info: HR 22
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/109/hr22

Link to HR 22 (search ‘8909’ to find funding formula in Title VIII)
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/109/hr22/text



Part 2: HR 6407 December 7, 2006 – December 20, 2006 *passed*

The House

On December 7, 2006, HR 6407, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act was introduced to the House by Congressman Tom Davis (R-VA). There were three sponsors, two Democrats and one Republican.

This version of the bill contained the precise dollar amounts:

``(3)(A) The United States Postal Service shall pay into
such Fund--
``(i) $5,400,000,000, not later than September 30, 2007;
``(ii) $5,600,000,000, not later than September 30, 2008;
``(iii)$5,400,000,000, not later than September 30, 2009;
``(iv) $5,500,000,000, not later than September 30, 2010;
``(v) $5,500,000,000, not later than September 30, 2011;
``(vi) $5,600,000,000, not later than September 30, 2012;
``(vii)$5,600,000,000, not later than September 30, 2013;
`(viii) $5,700,000,000, not later than September 30, 2014;
``(ix) $5,700,000,000, not later than September 30, 2015;
and
``(x) $5,800,000,000, not later than September 30, 2016.

A computed amount was used after that date.

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/109/hr6407/text

The next day, December 8, 2006, at 10:10pm, HR 6407 was considered under suspension of the rules. Debate lasted till 10:33pm. One Democratic representative, Mr. Davis of Illinois participated in the debate. The debate was nothing but praise for HR 6407.

After the debate, the ‘vote’ was taken:

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the
gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Tom Davis) that the House suspend the
rules and pass the bill, H.R. 6407, as amended.
The question was taken.

The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood). In the opinion of the Chair,
two-thirds of those voting have responded in the affirmative.

Mr. PENCE. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.

The yeas and nays were refused.

So (two-thirds of those voting having responded in the affirmative)
the rules were suspended and the bill, as amended, was passed.

A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CREC-2006-12-08/html/CREC-2006-12-08-pt1-PgH9160-2.htm



The vote was only a voice vote. Representative Pence (R-IN) asked for a recorded vote and was denied.





The Senate

The very next day, December 9, 2012 (actually after midnight, December 8, 2012), the Senate proceeded on HR 6407. Senator Murray (D-WA) was the only Democrat speaking on the bill. From the Congressional Record the bill was passed by unanimous consent:

Mr. FRIST. I ask unanimous consent that the bill be read a third time and passed, the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table, and any statements be printed in the RECORD.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
The bill (H.R. 6407) was ordered to a third reading, was read the third time, and passed.

Congressional Record Link
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CREC-2006-12-08/html/CREC-2006-12-08-pt2-PgS11821.htm



Summary

The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act was passed in less than 48 hours. There were no recorded votes. Republican Congressman Pence asked for the yeas and nays but was denied. Appears Democrats had no objections. The Congressional Record seems to indicate that Minority Leader Reid was on the floor when the Senate passed the bill by unanimous consent.

I do know that the ‘prizes’ of this bill were

1) Awesome and valuable Post Office buildings were sold off because of financial losses. They could not just sell off these buildings for no reason – right?

2) The first reduction of services just occurred – no Saturday delivery. This will snowball into increase postal workload and increase delivery times.

3) A cry will go out to ‘privatize’ the Post Office

4) Postal Unions will disappear

5) And, finally, any delivery will eventually cost a small fortune.


28 replies, 8791 views

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 28 replies Author Time Post
Reply How the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act was passed (Original post)
TheProgressive Feb 2013 OP
global1 Feb 2013 #1
TheProgressive Feb 2013 #2
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2013 #3
Sekhmets Daughter Feb 2013 #17
Chathamization Feb 2013 #23
yortsed snacilbuper Feb 2013 #4
magellan Feb 2013 #5
TheProgressive Feb 2013 #7
magellan Feb 2013 #11
TheProgressive Feb 2013 #15
magellan Feb 2013 #16
leftstreet Feb 2013 #6
TheProgressive Feb 2013 #9
leftstreet Feb 2013 #10
magellan Feb 2013 #12
TheProgressive Feb 2013 #14
sobenji Feb 2013 #8
TheProgressive Feb 2013 #13
Gold Metal Flake Feb 2013 #18
TheProgressive Feb 2013 #19
TheProgressive Feb 2013 #20
TheProgressive Feb 2013 #21
TheProgressive Feb 2013 #22
smee Mar 2013 #24
uppityperson Mar 2013 #25
pinto Mar 2013 #26
TheProgressive Mar 2013 #27
amycirca75 Mar 2014 #28

Response to TheProgressive (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 01:03 PM

1. Are You Saying That The Dems Caused This Problem With The USPS Or Am I Not Understanding This.....

post correctly?

My impression up to this point was that this was all done by the Repugs under BushCo. Please help clarify this for me.

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Response to global1 (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 01:06 PM

2. The purpose of this post is to show how the bill was passed.

The evidence shows that everyone, Democrats and Republicans, let
this bill pass without even a recorded vote.

The evidence also shows that the Republican majorities in the House and Senate
submitted and passed this bill under suspicious proceedings.

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Response to global1 (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 01:08 PM

3. The house and senate were under republican control.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 01:33 PM

17. It is way too easy to blame republicans for this

when there seems to have been little dissent coming from the Dems. For Dems it was all about "protecting" the pensions and for the rethugs, all about eventually privatizing the postal service. Dems should have learned a long, long time ago that rethugs have an entirely corrupt agenda.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #17)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 10:27 PM

23. Not only that

but the Democrats could have filibustered this (or the Iraq war resolution) if they wanted. But it seems that only the Republicans use the filibuster much.

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Response to TheProgressive (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 01:12 PM

4. I wonder how many people that work at the Post Office,

vote for republiKKKans?

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Response to TheProgressive (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 01:13 PM

5. Passed by unanimous consent

Says it all, doesn't it.

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Response to magellan (Reply #5)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 01:15 PM

7. That was the Senate. The Republican House Speaker refused the recorded vote. nt

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Response to TheProgressive (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 01:20 PM

11. Yes, I know

But if unanimous consent means what it says, then not one Senate Dem fought this legislation, right? Never mind they were the minority. They gave their support to this bill. Isn't that what unanimous consent means?

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Response to magellan (Reply #11)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 01:26 PM

15. I was just clarifying that that was how the Senate passed the bill. The House..

was slightly different with a rejected request for the yeas and nays.

But you are correct on how the Senate passed the bill.

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Response to TheProgressive (Reply #15)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 01:29 PM

16. I getcha.

Thanks.

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Response to TheProgressive (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 01:15 PM

6. Democrats - champions of the working classes!

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 01:18 PM

9. Yes, Democrats are champions of the working class

This thread shows where the original bill was approved by Reps and Dems.

But in the second bill (HR6407), they changed the prefunding requirement to be
actual dollar amounts.

Here is the question: Did the Republicans dupe the Democrats into thinking
nothing was changed in the original bill HR22? One can only guess, however, this
is a republican trick.

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Response to TheProgressive (Reply #9)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 01:20 PM

10. A career politician can't be 'duped'

They all wanted this. It's obvious

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 01:21 PM

12. That's my reading on it too. n/t

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 01:23 PM

14. I am just presenting the facts...

And wondering why Dems allowed this as well...

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Response to TheProgressive (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 01:17 PM

8. That's depressing

When my new whacked out Gov was the only one who tried to get it on the record.

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Response to sobenji (Reply #8)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 01:22 PM

13. Asking for the recorded House vote might have been just a ploy...

Nevertheless, it was rejected by Speaker Pro Tempore Republican Ray LaHood.

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Response to TheProgressive (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 01:49 PM

18. Perhaps we could call our Sens and Reps and ask their offices what their vote was.

And then report the responses here, when they can get the info back to us.

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Response to Gold Metal Flake (Reply #18)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 02:55 PM

19. That's just it - House/Senate members did not record a vote on this bill..

And it is kind of late to ask how they may have voted...

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Response to TheProgressive (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 04:19 PM

20. I am hoping this research would cause people to call their House/Senate member

and demand they do some real Postal reform.

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Response to TheProgressive (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 06:01 PM

21. Kicking in case someone would like to read the history of the Postal bill

I guess this is called a 'shameless self-kick'...

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Response to TheProgressive (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 09:14 PM

22. I don't know how else to say thanks for my Valentine Heart...So I will do it here.

So thank you very much Valentine giver!

And, now, more opinion....

No left side of the isle talk shows today mentioned the entire story on
how this bill got passed.

Above all, I seek the truth. I was going to write a scathing Letter to the Editor on
how the Republicans forced this thru in 2006. But, as a good progressive, I had to
know the truth. My research (from this post) forced me to change my wording.

Don't be afraid of the truth. Truth and facts are the power tools to enact change.

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Response to TheProgressive (Original post)


Response to smee (Reply #24)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 02:07 PM

25. Which WA post offices do you refer to and 29 days means something got lost as 2-5 days is average

Yes, mail gets lost. It always has. Some mail that it. Otherwise, first class letter with tracking has reached me in WA from the east coast in 3 days.

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Response to smee (Reply #24)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 02:37 PM

26. You seem to hold a basic Libertarian view of the USPS situation. And strongly anti-union.

What's your take on Federal functions and unions in general? Thanks.

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Response to smee (Reply #24)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 02:41 PM

27. Of all the threads in all the forums and groups of all of DU, you choose my thread...

Republicans must be gearing up for another offensive on the Post Office.

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