Congress Will Solve CSRS, Postal Reform, Davis Says

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Rep. Tom Davis, chairman of the House Committee on Government Reform, told attendees at the National League of Postmasters' 34th League Legislative Forum in Washington this week that he is working on legislation to resolve CSRS and other postal reform issues.

"We need [reform] legislation before there's a crisis in the postal service," the Virginia Republican said. "You're the ones [postmasters] on the front line to get the message out."

Last year's Postal Civil Service Retirement System Funding Reform Act reduced the amount of money the U.S. Postal Service pays annually into the Civil Service Retirement System, but it also required the postal service to place CSRS savings in an escrow account starting in 2006 and to take over funding CSRS benefits earned by postal employees during military service, a $27 billion obligation. The USPS has argued that it should not be responsible for the military benefits, and it also wants to abolish the escrow account.

Davis said he would work to craft legislation with Rep. Henry Waxman, D-CA, the committee's ranking minority member; as well as Reps. John McHugh, R-NY, and Danny Davis, D-IL, who are the chairman and ranking Democrat, respectively, of the committee's Special Panel on Postal Reform and Oversight.

Davis also said that neither the President's Commission on the U.S. Postal Service nor Congress recommend closing small post offices simply because they are unprofitable. But, he added, the USPS does need the flexibility to match resources to changing population densities.

More than 400 postmasters nationwide attended the conference.

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