Postal overhaul sponsors optimistic about Senate action

Sponsors of sweeping postal overhaul legislation are optimistic the Senate will approve the measure by unanimous consent in the coming days, said a spokesman for Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Del. the bill's lead Democratic sponsor.

The legislation cleared a key hurdle last Friday when Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who had placed a hold on the bill, removed his objection.

Harkin's concerns about the Postal Service's proposal to consolidate a facility in western Iowa were assuaged when the bill's sponsors, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairwoman Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Carper, added language requiring the Postal Service to solicit public comment before making consolidation decisions.

The provision would apply retroactively to the Iowa proposal, a Harkin spokeswoman said.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., also had placed a hold on the bill. His spokesman said Friday he needed time to review the legislation.

Carper and Collins are working to address questions and concerns Sessions and other senators might have, particularly about the bill's budget impact, a postal lobbyist said, and aim to see the bill approved this week.

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