Post Office Spared from House Republican's Highway Plan

The House Republican plan to gut Saturday postal delivery to pay for six months of highway spending was dropped on June 18. It appears it was a casualty of Majority Leader Eric Cantor's primary loss in his Virginia congressional district.
June 20, 2014, 12pm PDT | Irvin Dawid
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"In a private meeting with fellow House Republicans today (June 18), Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told colleagues there aren’t enough votes to bring the plan to the floor," writes Jim Rowley about what had been their plan to sustain highway spending, even if only for six months according to Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.). The next day McCarthy was selected to be the House Majority Leader, replacing Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.).

According to Roll Call, "House Republican aides said the plan collapsed after Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his primary election in Virginia on Tuesday night. Cantor had been behind the idea from the start, they said."

Dropping the postal plan means it's back to the drawing board for House Republicans "to find a way to replenish the Highway Trust Fund without causing an uproar among the no-new-revenue folks," writes Rowley.

It's not like there aren't other plans out there: Two from House Democrats (Earl Blumenauer-Ore.; Peter DeFazio-Ore.) President Obama's Grow America Act, and a similar one proposed by Republican chair of the Ways and Means Committee, Dave Camp of Michigan, but they are also revenue-producing.

The newest plan, released the same day the postal plan was dropped, is the Corker-Murphy bipartisan Senate proposal. While it brings in new revenue, it offsets them with tax cuts.

"The House is now considering other offsets for the troubled trust fund... including another round of pension changes and increases in Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation premiums," writes Roll Call's David Harrison. Pension changes were integral to finding the revenue for the current transportation bill, MAP-21 as we described shortly after it passed Congress.

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Published on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 in Bloomberg Political Capital
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