*McHugh Says H.R. 22 Is Alive and Well, Thank You

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WASHINGTON -- While rumors swirling around the mailing and postal industry say H.R. 22, Rep. John McHugh's (R-NY) Postal Reform Bill is dead, McHugh told delegates at the DMA's Government Affairs Show here May 13, emphatically, that it's just not so.


"It is definitely alive," said McHugh of his bill, which is designed to give the U.S. Postal Service more competitive freedom and a rate increase structure based on the Consumer Price Index. "I think it's important to let you know that in spite of what some people are saying, we have no intention of giving up this fight in 1998. In fact, quite to the country. I think, particularly over the last month or so, we have made great progress."


Here, McHugh is referring to his work reading through the testimony and papers that he asked members of the mailing community to submit about his revised bill. Papers were due in April.


"And, as we look forward to the coming month, I think it's fair to say that we will have looked at all of the comments," he said. "We will have considered these and made the changes reflective of the kinds of amendments that we think are positive and beneficial."


McHugh said he plans to have a new rewrite -- based on the comments -- by June. Then, he will circulate the bill to try to get sponsors for it. By fall, the bill should be ready to go full committee before the 105th Congress closes for the season. Then, after this, the bill would move onto the Senate.


As for how the appointment of William J. Henderson will affect H.R. 22, McHugh said, candidly, that "when Runyon announced his intentions to leave, that interruption in continuity doesn't always play out as a positive force, but as to the new PMG, I think Bill Henderson is an enormously capable guy."

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