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MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript


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Let`s bring in Congressman Gerald Connolly of Virginia tonight.
Congressman, good to have you with us.

REP. GERALD CONNOLLY (D), VIRGINIA: Great to be back with you, Ed.

SCHULTZ: This story bothers me, because this is the government
getting in the way of an operation that was successful. Why did the lame
duck session of the Congress do this in 2006?

CONNOLLY: You know, I think Republicans really don`t like the Post
Office because it`s very big. It`s quasi governmental. And it`s
unionized. And what is ironic about their opposition and their
determination to engineer it to fail, as you said, is that it is the only
service to be provided the American people mandated in the Constitution of
the United States, which they say they believe in.
You can look it up in Article I, Section Eight. The Post Office is
right there in the Constitution of the United States. And I think we have
a sacred obligation to make it work and to create a new business model.
They`re resisting that because they want it to fail.

SCHULTZ: Why can`t someone -- and I`ll ask you -- in the Congress
bring forth a bill that will reverse this entire law? Now what is
happening here is that they have to fund health care and retirement
benefits for the next 75 years in a 10-year window.

CONNOLLY: You got it.

SCHULTZ: Darrell Issa would never run a business like that. No
business would have a business model like that. This is set up to fail.
So why don`t the Democrats -- these are hard-working folks. Why doesn`t
somebody come up with a bill to reverse this entire things?

CONNOLLY: You know, when we marked up Darrell Issa`s so-called Postal
Reform Bill, which passed out of committee on a party line vote, we had an
amendment, led by Steven Lynch of Massachusetts, to do just that, to pull
back on that prepayment requirement and to refund the Postal Service for
the overpayments they`ve been making since the passage of the 2006 law.
That was defeated in a party line vote. That`s the single most
important thing you can do to relieve the Post Office of a huge financial
burden. Of the 15.9 billion dollars you cited that they lost, 11.1 billion
is attribute to this onerous prepayment provision.

SCHULTZ: That, of course, is 11 billion dollars that they can`t use
to be competitive with the private sector.

CONNOLLY: That`s right.

SCHULTZ: -- that they can`t -- to service rural areas in the country
and upgrade their infrastructure. And there is some serious money involved
in this decision. UPS spent more than 123,000 dollars lobbying Republicans
before the 2006 vote. It hasn`t lobbied since. Fed Ex is considered a
heavy hitter on Capitol Hill. It spent more than 645,000 dollars on
Republicans just last year.

CONNOLLY: And you know, Ed, the bill you cite, bad enough this
prepayment thing, but it also proscribes the Postal Service from getting
into any kind of other line of business.

SCHULTZ: Limit their business. Yes. They limit the scope of what
they can do to operationally compete.

CONNOLLY: That`s right.

SCHULTZ: And you know who it`s going to hurt, congressman -- and you
know this. I know this. Tell our audience. It`s small businesses in
rural America that are going to get nailed on this.

CONNOLLY: We need to create a new business model, but the 2006
legislation won`t let us do it. They`re doing it in Europe and making a

SCHULTZ: Congressman Gerald Connolly, thanks for sticking up for the

CONNOLLY: Thank you, Ed.

SCHULTZ: It`s the right thing to do. There is a moral component to
this as well. There is a lot more coming up in the next half hour of THE
ED SHOW. Stay with us.


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