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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


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

Link to HR 22 (search ‘8909’ to find funding formula in Title VIII)

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;
``(x) $5,800,000,000, not later than September 30, 2016.

A computed amount was used after that date.


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.


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


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.

Posted by TheProgressive | Fri Feb 8, 2013, 12:58 PM (29 replies)
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