Sen. Rick Scott delays $50B bailout of U.S. Post Office

Sen. Rick Scott has delayed speedy consideration of a bill to shore up the U.S. Postal Service.

Mr. Scott, Florida Republican, said Monday that rather than ramming the legislation through, lawmakers should study the issue and come up with a proper solution to the problems plaguing the postal agency.

“I absolutely support getting something done to reform the Postal Service and ensure it’s more accountable to taxpayers and consumers,” he said.

Last week, the House passed the bill with bipartisan support. The wrong version of the bill, however, was sent to the Senate.

Senate Democrats initially sought to substitute the correct version on the floor but were blocked by Mr. Scott. Within the chamber, unanimous consent is needed to expedite consideration of a bill, meaning that all 100 senators must agree on moving forward.

“The Senate should carefully and thoughtfully consider this bill. We should take all appropriate steps to make sure we get this right,” said Mr. Scott. “The Senate has simply not been afforded the opportunity to do that.”

Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer said the delay was “regrettable” and “sad,” but he pledged to keep pushing the bill.  

“Even though this will delay the bill, we will pass it. We will have to just go through this elaborate process, the old-fashioned and often discredited rules of the Senate that the senator from Florida’s employing,” said Mr. Schumer, New York Democrat. “We’ll have to use them. But we will pass this bill because America needs it.”

The bill would require eligible postal employees to enroll in Medicare and would nix a mandate that forced USPS to cover their health care costs in advance. It also would shore up delivery gaps within the Postal Service.

Democrats say the proposed changes would save the Postal Service roughly $50 billion over the next decade.

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