Sanders leads push to change Senate postal bill

By:  Bernie Becker

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Monday that he hoped Republicans would join him in pushing for changes to a measure overhauling the U.S. Postal Service's operations. 

Sanders has led the charge in recent days to alter the bipartisan Senate postal bill, and has said that he has concerns that USPS is pressing to make modifications that would hurt rural communities and eliminate jobs. 

"Republicans coming from rural areas - they're experiencing the same problems that we're experiencing," Sanders said at a Monday news conference. "I think there's a whole lot of support, and I hope we can make some of these improvements to the bill before it gets to the floor."

The Senate postal bill - introduced by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.) - is expected to reach the chamber floor this month, even as Sanders lobbies for changes.

The measure would allow USPS to scrap Saturday delivery after two years; offer postal employees incentives to retire, using a surplus from a federal retirement program; and spread out required payments that USPS has to make for retiree healthcare over four decades. 

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