Bush reportedly considers panel to study USPS’s future

President Bush

is reportedly considering appointing a special commission to develop long-term solutions for the financially ailing U.S. Postal Service, according to Office of Management and Budget Director Mitch Daniels.

Daniels made the disclosure last week at meeting of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington. There was no immediate comment from the White House on the disclosure.

While he did not say the President definitely would appoint a panel to determine the future of the USPS, Daniels did say President Bush is considering the possibility because the USPS cannot continue to loose money operating the way it is.

The USPS lost $1.6 billion last year and $199 million the year before. According to Daniels, the USPS faces a fundamental restructuring because the reasons for the losses existed long before Sept. 11 and the subsequent anthrax scare.

“The possibility of the President appointing a special commission to examine the future of the USPS is welcomed news,” said Gene Del Polito, Association for Postal Commerce President. Del Polito, who has long advocated the appointment of such a panel, said things at the USPS “are in a crisis stage and if he [President Bush] doesn’t do anything about it, he will pay political Hell” in the November elections.

There was no immediate comment from Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH), who began lobbying fellow members of Congress to press the White House to appoint a special panel to determine the future of the USPS in February.

Meanwhile, negotiations between Republican and Democrat members of the House Government Reform Committee on an acceptable postal reform bill have resumed with a renewed vigor. The hope to blend most of the postal reforms proposed by Rep. John McHugh (R-NY) with those proposed by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) the panels ranking minority member.

But with the dwindling number of legislative days remaining for the 107th Congress, the possibility of any meaningful postal reform legislation being passed is doubtful.

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