Senators lift holds on postal reform bill, paving way for vote

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., has lifted his hold on sweeping postal overhaul legislation, clearing the way for the measure to be approved by the full Senate.

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., also had a hold on the bill, which he released earlier this week, postal lobbyists said.

Sessions' spokesman said he placed the hold last month so he could further examine the legislation before allowing it to pass by unanimous consent. "We wanted an opportunity to review the bill. Several senators spent a considerable amount of time looking at the legislation. We believe it's better than the House legislation and our hope is that it will be improved in conference," Sessions said in a statement.

Sessions' concerns, which centered around the bill's budget impact, were eased when staff for Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairwoman Susan Collins, R-Maine, said she would consider changes to language that gives the Postal Service access to money slated for an escrow account and shifts the agency's $27 billion military pensions obligation to the Treasury, congressional aides and postal lobbyists said.

The administration has expressed similar concerns, threatening to veto the bill if those provisions remain unchanged.

But a congressional aide said Sessions made it clear he could renew his opposition if his concerns are not addressed in conference. A spokesman for DeMint did not return calls. Sessions' decision to release his hold means the bill could be approved by unanimous consent as early as Wednesday night, but postal lobbyists say contentious debate over an asbestos measure could delay consideration.

"That's going to be the complicating factor this week," one lobbyist said.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.