Dispute among Senate Dems threatens postal reform before May 15 deadline (The Hill)

March 31, 2012

By Alexander Bolton

A disagreement over tactics in the Senate may derail efforts to avert the closure of hundreds of mail-processing centers and rural post offices around the country.

Congress will have only a month after the two-week April recess to pass legislation before a moratorium on post office closures expires on May 15.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had planned to bring legislation to the floor this past week to overhaul the U.S. Postal Service to minimize the impact on mail delivery but he cannot round up enough votes in his caucus.

Reid in recent days has worked out a deal with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a vocal advocate of stopping cuts in service planned by the postal service, to advance the legislation but two key Democratic senators, Max Baucus (Mont.) and Jeff Merkley (Ore.) are holding out for more.

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