An ambitious attempt to overhaul the nation’s mail system may not make it to the House floor for a vote this year, leaving lawmakers to pass another stopgap measure to shore up postal finances, congressional aides and industry observers said Thursday.
The Senate passed a postal reform package in late April, and postal officials and mailing industry leaders hoped the House would move quickly to pass a competing package and negotiate a final bill before the fiscal year ends Sept. 30. But House Republican aides and industry observers confirmed that despite public comments to the contrary, no bill is expected to be considered before lawmakers leave for a month-long recess in August.
Just eight legislative days will remain in the fiscal year when the House returns in mid-September, leaving little time for Congress to change the current law that requires the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to pay about $5.4 billion by Sept. 30 to pre-fund future retiree health and insurance obligations. So lawmakers may once again do what they did last year: allow the service to pay its annual obligations later in fiscal 2013.