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Public Statements

21st Century Postal Service Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, at a time when America's infrastructure is crumbling, at a time when the Postal Service is losing $4 billion a year, does it make sense to send $2 billion to Egypt? Does it make sense to borrow money from China to send it to Egypt? At a time when American citizens are being prosecuted in Egypt, at a time when American citizens are having international warrants sworn out on their arrests by Egypt, does it make sense to send $2 billion to Egypt?

Last week I met with a young prodemocracy worker from Egypt. She is afraid to return home. She is afraid she will never see her children again. She is afraid of the cage they will put her in to prosecute her for political crimes. She fears that the Egyptian freedom movement will die in its infancy.

So I ask--for as long as prodemocracy workers are being prosecuted, American and Egyptian--I ask unanimous consent to call up amendment No. 2023 and that it be voted on.

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Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, at a time when we are asking post offices and people around our country to suffer the loss of their local post office, I think the very least we can do is show we are willing to give up some of the post offices around here. We have seven post offices in the Capitol. We have a post office in almost every building. I am asking that we have one on the House side and one on the Senate side. If we are asking people to suffer the loss of their post offices in their States, I think the very least we can do is do without a few post offices here, and I hope my colleagues will support this amendment.

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Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, this amendment would allow a pilot program for local postal autonomy. One of the complaints I heard from postmasters when they came to talk to me about this bill is that they think there is a lot of middle management in the Postal Service making unwise decisions, and if they were given more autonomy at the local level to make decisions about their post offices, they would have the ability to have cost-saving measures to try to save the post office for their local community. I think this makes sense. I think we would have more innovation and get some useful ideas from our local postmasters.

I yield back the remainder of my time.

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Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, this amendment doesn't change any of the postal mandates and, to tell my colleagues the truth, the system we have now is not working very well. I think we do need some innovation, so I think it would be a good idea to vote for this amendment.

I ask for the yeas and nays.

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Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, this amendment would add a technical change to the profitability plan that is already required under the bill, and it would simply ask that when they do the profitability plan, they report on whether Congress is helping or hurting. A lot of times we do things that are well intentioned that may not work out. I think they need to let us know more about whether Congress is helping or hurting the process.

I urge adoption of this amendment.

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Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, let's be frank. The Postal Service is bankrupt and only dramatic action will fix the Postal Service. The problem is labor costs. Eighty percent of the Postal Service's costs are labor. If we look at UPS, it is about 50 percent. If we look at FedEx, it is about 38 percent. Before we close one post office, before we end Saturday mail, before we ask citizens to get poorer services for higher prices, maybe we ought to look at the root of the problem.

Even FDR--the biggest of the big government advocates--said this about collective bargaining:

All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.

So agreeing with FDR, I hope my colleagues from across the aisle will agree with their patron saint FDR and will support this amendment that would end collective bargaining.

In the interest of time, I will be happy to have a voice vote.

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