(Direct Newsline) Washington–It doesn’t get more unequivocal than this: Asked whether postal reform would be considered by Congress this year, the chiefs of staff for both House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland and House Republican Whip Roy Blunt of Montana replied with one word: “no.”
This revelation came during a question-and-answer session following presentations by Cory Alexander, Hoyer’s chief of staff, and Brian Gaston, who stepped into the same role for Blunt on Monday.
Fair’s fair: The question had been put to them as a simple yes-or-no proposition. But given the opportunity to comment further, both cited the run-up to the general election as a factor, as well as wrangling over federal budget and other top-tier issues. Alexander added that the balance of 2004 would likely focus on other issues of more universal importance, such as homeland security, while Gaston noted that the large number of Democratic senators seeking the White House had slowed the legislative pace of the other congressional chamber.
“If we were doing to do [postal reform] we would have needed to have done it last year,” Gaston said.