Government affairs

Legislative Updates

House passes FSGG Appropriations Bill

Today, the House of Representatives approved a package (H.R.6147) of two fiscal year (FY) 2019 Appropriations bills, including a bill funding the Interior and Environment and a bill funding Financial Services and General Government (FSGG). The FY19 FSGG Act has broad jurisdiction over agencies including the Internal Revenue Service, the Treasury Department, the Office of Management and Budget, the General Services Administration, the Judiciary, the Small Businesses Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Postal Service.

Of note and as a result of all the hard work from letter carriers, the House preserved NALC’s long-standing language on six-day mail delivery. While the 217 to 199 vote on the full appropriations package fell mostly along party lines, the continued inclusion of six-day language in both the House and Senate bills speaks to the good work done by letter carriers these past few years as well as this cycle.

Of particular importance was the defeat of an amendment (link here) to H.R. 6147 brought forward by the House Republican Whip, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), which sought to prohibit the Postal Service from carrying out any programs or task forces on expanded financial services.

Introduced with short notice, the amendment was framed as an “anti-Postal banking” measure, but had far reaching consequences that would have negatively impacted postal operations and customers, had the amendment gone through. In response to its introduction, letter carriers contacted their offices to voice their opposition, while NALC reached out to remind members that while this amendment was intentionally introduced late in the process so as to avoid debate, the issue of financial services offered through the Postal Service is a subject that has not been debated in Congress, let alone in committee. As the stabilization of postal finances is one of NALC’s chief concerns, we welcome any opportunity to discuss alternative means that the Postal Service can use to bring in additional revenue.

Thanks to the quick response from letter carriers to their members, the amendment failed in a 201-212 vote (viewable here). 28 Republicans joined the whole Democratic caucus in opposition.

NALC encourages letter carriers to take note of those who opposed the amendment and be sure to contact them in order to provide our thanks for recognizing how damaging it would have been to the Postal Service and defeating it.

With House passage complete, the FY19 FSGG appropriations continues with the Senate, which is expected to take it up in coming weeks. However, as has been the case in recent years, the appropriations process will likely not be completed in time for the end of the fiscal year, which will result in temporary funding measures before an eventual omnibus package passed.

NALC will monitor the progression of the Senate FSGG bill, any conference committees around FY19 Appropriations, as well as any actions around an omnibus.

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