APWU Members Instrumental in Achieving Legislative Milestone

Judy Beard

January 23, 2020

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(This article first appeared in the January/February 2020 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 

President Mark Dimondstein and Legislative & Political Director Judy Beard meeting with Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04) to discuss the scheduling of a floor vote on H.R. 2382

With the achievement of more than two thirds support for the USPS Fairness Act in the House (301 cosponsors to date), H.R. 2382 has been placed on the consensus calendar and is in line for a vote by the full House of Representatives.

This legislation would repeal the mandate that requires the Postal Service to prefund its retiree health care benefits 75 years in advance and is responsible for 100 percent of the financial losses since 2013.

Next Steps

The U.S. President signs legislation into law after it has been approved by both chambers. The USPS Fairness Act companion legislation is introduced – our work now continues in the Senate.

The phone calls, office visits, op-eds, letters to the editor, and social media outreach by APWU members was critical in reaching this level of bipartisan support. APWU members took the message to our elected officials, families and friends. We will stand together and finish this fight.

Last month, on Dec. 3, Senators Steve Daines (R-MT) and Bryan Schatz (D-HI) introduced Senate Bill 2965 (S. 2965). This companion bill has identical language to H.R. 2382. The introduction of this companion legislation on the heels of our achievement in the House of Representatives sends a strong message of bipartisan support to the Senate.

I am asking our APWU members to continue contacting your representatives and ask them to repeal the manufactured prefunding payments forced on the USPS in the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. Your ask and education is now to be directed at your U.S. Senators. APWU members can call our legislative hotline (844- 402-1001) to be connected with their Senators. When you dial this number, you will hear a short message detailing the important information you should convey. We also strongly encourage you to schedule a meeting with your Senators while they are home during their first recess of 2020 from February 17-22.

As this issue goes to press, a call-in day of action will be announced soon. This is the day we will collectively call our Senators to either thank them for being a cosponsor on S. 2965 or encourage them to sign on.

The legislative priority one-pager with more information on S. 2965 can be found at apwu.org/usps-fairness-act. You should share this when you visit your Senators’ offices. Be sure to make copies for your friends, family, and co-workers.

2020 Election Preparation

The first primaries/caucuses for the presidential election taking place in February are: Iowa (Feb. 3), New Hampshire (Feb. 11), Nevada (Feb. 22), and South Carolina (Feb. 29). Information regarding voter registration, primary/caucus dates, and other critical information on 2020 ballot initiatives/referendum can be found on the Legislative & Political Department webpage. This information is a must read!

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