House Committee Rejects Extra Money for USPSThe House Rules Committee voted against an amendment late last night that would have given the U.S. Postal Service $500 million to pay for upgraded security measures at postal facilities nationwide.
The amendment, which was introduced by Rep. David Obey (D-WI), was not added to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2002. Now, the mailing industry is hoping the Senate will come through with the cash. Currently, lawmakers are arguing behind the scenes on a proposal introduced by Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-WV, that appropriates $1.1 billion to the USPS.
All of these bills must be passed and signed into law by President Bush in the next two weeks because Congress is hoping to close the session by Dec. 13.
Postal officials have said that they need an estimated $1.1.billion for mail sanitization and security equipment through June in addition to the $175 million already allocated by the president. The money was part of $40 billion emergency relief and anti-terrorism package. Congress has thus far refused to appropriate any more than that.