|House Passes the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021
House Passes the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021
March 1, 2021
On February 27th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1319, the “American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.” This bill promises to help stabilize communities across the country and provide emergency assistance to the working class. If passed in the Senate and signed into law by the President, the $1.9 trillion package will provide workers long-overdue and much-needed relief they deserve.
Many workers had hoped that the previous package which passed in December would have extended the leave provided in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Unfortunately, the FFCRA paid leave was not included in the December package and expired on December 31st. As your paid leave dwindled, Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman collaborated with the Legislative Department, and we shared your stories with members of Congress and built support for a legislative solution. After intense advocacy, we were able to secure several postal worker provisions in the House’s American Rescue Plan Act of 2021:
- Emergency paid leave. The pandemic has exacerbated many workers’ need for paid leave, whether they have fallen ill, been exposed to COVID or have increased need to care for their family. This bill creates a fund for federal agencies, including the Postal Service, to extend additional paid leave under certain conditions for workers to take time off to for COVID-19-related leave.
- Workers Compensation. This bill will improve the process for COVID related workers compensation claims. Workers who contract COVID-19 will be assumed to have contracted the illness on the job, streamlining the workers’ compensation claims process from. In addition, individuals who filed COVID-19 related claims and were denied will be able to resubmit them.
- Direct cash assistance. The bill provides each qualifying citizen with a $1,400 stimulus payment.
- Raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.
- State and local aid – The bill will also provide billions in aid to state and local governments to help meet growing public service needs and to help safely re-open schools and other critical services.
Now that this bill has passed the House, it has been sent to the Senate for deliberation. During this process, APWU will continue to fight off attempts to weaken the bill or remove worker protections.
“I would like to thank the Chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Carolyn Maloney, and the House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott for their leadership and hearing our needs and taking action to address them,” commented Legislative and Political Director Judy Beard. “Once this bill becomes law, our members can help slow the spread of COVID-19 by staying home when they are sick or take leave to care for a sick loved one, with fewer worries about how to make ends meet.”
“This positive step shows what we can accomplish when we all work together,” said APWU National President Mark Dimondstein. “Director Beard has shared your stories with members of Congress and we fought successfully to ensure these pro-worker provisions in the bill.”
In future legislation, we will continue to work collectively to address the challenges that face our members during this pandemic. Together, we will work to ensure that the Postal Service receives the $25 billion infrastructure funding and emergency COVID-19 funding it needs to continue serving the American people.
|Union Plus Offers Help to Those Impacted by the Severe Winter Storms in Texas
Union Plus Offers Help to Those Impacted
by the Severe Winter Storms in Texas
February 26, 2021
If you are a union member who participates in certain Union Plus programs and have been affected by the severe storms in Texas, you may be eligible for financial assistance through the Union Plus Disaster Relief Grant program.*1 Union Plus Disaster Relief Grants of $500 are available to eligible participants of one of the following programs:
• Union Plus Credit Card Program*2
• Union Plus Mortgage Program
• Union Plus Personal Loan Program
• Union Plus Life Insurance
• Union Plus Accidental Death Insurance
• Union Plus Auto Insurance
• Union Plus Retiree Health Program
To qualify for a Union Plus Disaster Relief Grant:
1. Your residence must be in a county qualifying for individual assistance money from FEMA. To check if your county has been designated as an area eligible for individual assistance, visit FEMA’s disaster declarations page.
2. You must have had a Union Plus Credit Card for at least three months, Union Plus Personal Loan for at least six months, Union Plus Mortgage, Union Plus Retiree Health Insurance, Union Plus Life or Accidental Death Insurance or Union Plus Auto Insurance for at least 12 months with that account or policy in good standing (be up to date on payments).
If you participate in the Union Plus Credit Card Program and want to apply for a disaster relief grant, call 1-800-622-2580.
If you participate in any other of the designated programs and want to apply for a disaster relief grant, call 1-800-472-2005.
The Union Plus Disaster Relief Fund has provided nearly $1 million in assistance to union members facing hardships following Hurricanes Michael and Florence, floods and other natural disasters. Head to the Union Plus Disaster Relief Fund page to learn more about the benefits and eligibility requirements.
*1. Certain restrictions, limitations and qualifications apply to these grants. Additional information and eligibility criteria can be obtained at https://www.unionplus.org/hardship-help/disaster-relief-grants.
*2. The Union Plus Credit Cards are issued by Capital One, N.A. pursuant to a license from Mastercard International Incorporated. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.
|Today’s Hearing on Legislative Proposals to Put the Postal Service on a Sustainable Financial Footing and the Nomination by President Biden to Fill Vacancies on the USPS’ Board of Governors
Today’s Hearing and the Nomination
by President Biden to Fill Vacancies
on the USPS’ Board of Governors
February 24, 2021
Statement by American Postal Workers Union President Mark Dimondstein
Today’s Hearing on Legislative Proposals to Put the Postal Service on a Sustainable Financial Footing and the Nomination by President Biden to Fill Vacancies on the USPS’ Board of Governors
I want to thank the chair of the House Committee on Oversight Committee and Reform, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, for holding today’s hearing on legislation that will allow the United States Postal Service to uphold its mission under the law to provide prompt, reliable and efficient service to the country. Congress has an important role to play and an opportunity to right the wrongs of past legislation by repealing the onerous prefunding mandate responsible for the bulk of the USPS’ recent financial losses.
Today’s hearing demonstrates bipartisan support for the USPS and is an important first step in ensuring the long-term sustainability of a public postal service. Any effort to reform the USPS must uphold the principle of universal service. Postal workers are pleased that many members of the committee share our view that now is the time to fix the problems plaguing the USPS. We cannot allow this service, vital to millions of customers, to further atrophy.
We also are encouraged by today’s announcement by President Biden nominating three new members to the USPS’ Board of Governors. The American Postal Workers Union, along with other allied organizations, had petitioned the administration this week urging them to act quickly to fill the vacancies on the board with individuals who are committed to universal service and who will defend the vibrancy and sustainability of the public United States Postal Service. We urge the Senate to quickly confirm these nominees.
|USPS Fairness Act Reintroduced in the House and Senate
USPS Fairness Act Reintroduced in the House and Senate
February 3, 2021
This week, both the House of Representatives and the Senate, re-introduced the bi-partisan USPS Fairness Act (S. 145 and H.R. 695). This legislation would repeal, in full, the onerous prefunding of retiree health care benefits which Congress required when it passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) in 2006. This law, forced the Postal Service to prefund its retiree health care benefits 75 years in advance, paying for retirement health care for individuals who had not been born yet, let alone enter the workforce. The pre-funding mandate is accountable for 92 percent of the Postal Service’s net losses since 2007 and is a constant threat to the financial sustainability of the Postal Service.
APWU applauds members of Congress for their efforts to repeal this unfair mandate and place the Postal Service on solid financial footing with the USPS Fairness Act. Specifically, the bill's original cosponsors, Representatives Peter DeFazio (OR-04), Tom Reed (NY-23), Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), and Colin Allred (TX-32) in the House and Senators Steve Daines (R-MT) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) in the Senate.
APWU fully supports the USPS Fairness Act. The pre-funding mandate has created a manufactured crisis that drains the Postal Service’s funds, and limits its ability to make vital innovations and expand services.
“The bi-partisan USPS Fairness Act is one of the first steps toward returning the Postal Service to solid financial footing, and I urge Congress to quickly pass this critical legislation," said President Mark Dimondstein.
The USPS Fairness Act would return the Postal Service to the procedures in place prior to the PAEA, utilizing a pay-as-you-go method for retiree benefits, the standard practice across federal agencies and private businesses. “Ending the pre-funding mandate gained immense support from both sides of the aisle in the last Congress,” said Legislative & Political Director Judy Beard. “Now is the time to right the errors of the failed pre-funding policy, and allow USPS to remove this manufactured debt from its books.”
|President Biden’s Executive Order on Health and Safety a Positive First Step
President Biden’s Executive Order on Health and Safety a Positive First Step
January 29, 2021
During his campaign, President Biden promised to stand with workers, and direct the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to implement stronger coronavirus safety standards to keep workers safe.
On January 21, President Biden fulfilled one of his promises, issuing the “Executive Order on Health and Safety.”
The order mandates that “the Federal Government must take swift action to reduce the risk that workers may contract COVID-19 in the workplace. That will require issuing science-based guidance to help keep workers safe from COVID-19 exposure, including with respect to mask-wearing; partnering with state and local governments to better protect public employees; enforcing worker health and safety requirements; and pushing for additional resources to help employers protect employees.”
In order to meet these requirements, the Executive Order provides the Secretary of Labor, through the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, with wide authority to reshape OSHA’s enforcement efforts to better protect workers on the job.
This Executive Order will apply to the Postal Service, as the USPS is the only government agency subject to regulation by OSHA.
“This is a complete change from the Trump Administration that had directed OSHA to take a relative ‘hands off’ approach to worker safety – especially concerning COVID-19,” said Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman. “We expect guidance to be issued that can significantly improve worker safety and management accountability at the USPS within the coming weeks. Once any standards or instructions are issued by OSHA we will reach back out to the field.”
New Pro-Worker Appointments at Department of Labor
In addition to the Executive Order, the administration also recently announced appointments to various roles in the Department of Labor, signaling a strong commitment to pro-worker policy.
Jim Frederick, formerly a consultant for the APWU advising our response to COVID-19, was appointed as Deputy Assistant Secretary at OSHA. Mr. Frederick is a dedicated unionist and former safety specialist for the United Steel Workers.
“Having a person leading OSHA who truly believes that all workers deserve a safe and work environment is important,” said President Mark Dimondstein.
Additionally, on his first day in the White House, President Biden fired National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel Peter Robb, who had moved the NLRB in a sharply pro-management direction during his tenure. President Biden’s appointment as acting General Counsel was Peter Sung Ohr, who gained wide recognition as a strong pro-worker advocate in his role as the NLRB Chicago Regional Office Director. President Biden also appointed former BCTGM General Counsel Jeff Freund as Director of the Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS).
|1,400 Warehouse Workers and Drivers in New York Win Raise After Strike
1,400 Warehouse Workers and Drivers in New York Win Raise After Strike
January 29, 2021
On January 17, around 1,400 members of Teamsters Local 202 who work at Hunts Point Produce Market in The Bronx, NY went on strike after management refused to meet workers’ demands for desperately-needed pay raises and additional health care support.
Following the six-day strike, workers voted over 97 percent in favor of a new three-year contract that includes a wage increase over the course of the contract that is above the workers’ initial demand and additional health benefits at no additional costs to workers.
The strike, the first at Hunts Point since 1986, saw strong solidarity from fellow union members and multiple elected officials, gaining national attention. Train conductors, who are fellow Teamsters refused to cross the picket line, turning around over 21 train cars of merchandise on January 20. Additionally, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY-14), New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and New York State Assemblymember Amanda Septimo joined workers on the picket line.
The warehouses workers and drivers at Hunts Point are responsible for handling over 60 percent of all produce in New York City. Management forced them to continue working paycheck-to-paycheck in one of the most expensive cities in the country, all while risking their safety and health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It's been different this year with the pandemic, and actually seeing and knowing some of your friends that you've worked with in here for 28 years die, and then have friends of yours not coming to work because they're home quarantined, sick, makes a big difference," Hunts Point worker Francisco Flores told Gothamist/WNYC.
Now that the workers won a strong new contract, they hope the strike becomes an inspiration for other essential workers struggling during the pandemic.
"It's not often that workers take their fate in their hands, and decide to put their hands together to fight for a better tomorrow," said Teamsters Local 202 President Daniel Kane Jr. "And these folks did that. And I'm hoping that that will resonate with workers throughout this country because our members are essential, and decent, hardworking family people."
|COVID-19 and OWCP Claims Workshop
COVID-19 and OWCP Claims Workshop
January 29, 2021
At the direction of President Mark Dimondstein and in conjunction with the Industrial Relations Department, the APWU will be holding an information session for state and local presidents, their approved designees, and national officers on COVID-19 and OWCP.
Postal Employees who contract COVID-19 at work can file claims for workers’ compensation under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA). At this workshop, participants will receive basic information about the recent bulletins issued by Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP), as well as an overview of the steps a Postal Employee must take to submit a claim.
OWCP is outside of the Union’s collective bargaining responsibilities with the Postal Service, and claim processing and approval is governed by FECA rules, regulations, and policies for OWCP claims. This information session is informational only and will not provide legal advice on general or specific OWCP claim issues. It also is not a directive to any APWU member to submit a claim or to any state, local, national organization or representative to represent or assist any bargaining unit members in the claims process. The APWU neither implies nor guarantees that following the information provided will result in a claim being approved.
Attendees are required to register in advance and have their registration approved by APWU Headquarters.
To register, please click this registration Link: COVID-19 and OWCP Information Session
|Building on Our Success
Building on Our Success
January 26, 2021
(This article first appeared in the January/February 2021 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)
2020 was a tough year – on our health, our families and the economy. While the rich have ridden the pandemic to get even richer, unemployment, poverty and hunger have drastically increased. Our own federal government failed to properly protect us during this terrible pandemic. Completely unfounded claims of election fraud and the refusal to accept the election results are inciting violence and deeply threaten our democratic rights.
But the year ended with two major “postal” accomplishments, underscoring that struggle brings progress – and encourages us for the New Year!
$10 Billion in COVID-19 Emergency Relief
After many months of activism, $10 billion of emergency postal COVID-19 relief was included in the “stimulus” signed into law on December 27, 2020.
While the $10 billion is not sufficient for the long run, it is a solid “down payment” to help address the increase in COVID-related expenses as well as COVID-related lost revenue. APWU members should be extremely proud of this accomplishment. With petitions, car caravans, phone calls and rallies, united with the people of this country, the message was sent that the fight for a strong and vibrant public Postal Service cannot be ignored. Congratulations!
5,500 New Career Positions in Mail Processing
In a ground breaking agreement, the APWU and postal management increased the career clerk staffing in Function 1 (mail processing) by 12 percent!
The Agreement will create 5,524 new full-time career clerk positions that will lead to the conversion of the same number of PSEs, a union-won life changing event. The staffing will also help take undue pressure off the current, and largely exhausted, workforce. It will help provide better service to the people. Thanks to the union shining a light on the problem of chronic understaffing, management has gotten the message that they must begin to fix it.
Pursuant to the Agreement, the USPS determined where the new jobs were needed and the results varied greatly by local and regions. Undoubtedly, the fight for proper staffing will continue. But in the big picture, this is a significant step forward, and I am proud to have led this accomplishment.
As we did last year, I am confident that APWU members will meet the challenges of 2021. Major events will include: New union contract: Our contract expires September 20, 2021. Negotiation preparations are already underway. Official negotiations will open in June. The success of negotiations comes down to power and leverage, so be ready to exercise your union muscles!
COVID-19: Even with the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines, science suggests this will still be a dangerous year. We have extended all the COVID-19 related agreements, including the liberal leave policy, until the end of March. The APWU and postal workers will remain ever vigilant in the fight for health and safety!
Defending & Expanding Postal Services: We welcome the advent of a new U.S. President who is supportive of unions and postal workers. But the political fight to save the public Postal Service from the privatization drive of Wall Street will continue. We must stay united with the people of our country to defend good public postal services and jobs, and to halt any destructive policies of PMG DeJoy. We have new opportunities to win expanded postal services, including financial services.
Legislative/Political: Our agenda includes additional COVID-19 financial relief for the Postal Service, eliminating the absurd pre-funding mandate of future retiree health insurance costs, and positive postal reform. In solidarity with all workers and unions, we support all efforts to raise wages, expand workers’ rights, provide health care as a human right, COVID-19 emergency funding for local and state governments and rebuild the country’s infrastructure with millions of new “green” union jobs.
Hello 2021! This is the 50th anniversary year of the founding of our fine union, when five postal unions merged in June 1971 into one more powerful force.
|Postal Service Implements New Organizational Structure For Employees Working in Dock Areas
Postal Service Implements New Organizational Structure For Employees Working in Dock Areas
As a result, all Expeditors and Ramp Clerks will report to a designated Logistics management official. In addition, a January 12 Stand Up Talk was to inform these employees that unique finance numbers were “created for each newly stablished Logistics operation”.
The Postal Service also developed a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), among which included responses that craft designations and pay levels of affected bargaining unit employees would not change and other contractual issues such as overtime, holiday scheduling, and leave administration would not be affected. Also, Locals are cautioned to check their Dues Checkoff (DCO) lists to ensure that proper distribution of union dues has not been affected as a result of these changes in finance numbers.
Clerk Craft Director Lamont Brooks and Motor Vehicle Director Michael Foster have scheduled a meeting with the appropriate management officials to further discuss the ramifications of this action. Members will be updated as soon as possible of the results of the meeting.
Included with this update are copies of the Postal Service’s notifications to the APWU, the Stand-Up Talk, and the FAQs.
|Why We All Need to Care About the Postal Board of Governors
Why We All Need to Care About the Postal Board of Governors
January 13, 2021
What is the Postal Board of Governors and what does it do?
The Postal Service has a Board of Governors that is responsible for major decisions about the Postal Service’s operations, policies and expenditures. The Board’s responsibilities also include hiring and firing the Postmaster General.
The Board is usually made up of nine members who are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.
Why should we care about the Board?
President-Elect Joe Biden can fill four positions on the nine-member board when he comes into office.
Strong nominees to the Board should fight for the Postal Service we all deserve. They should defend and expand postal services, not cut them. They should promote speedier delivery, not mail slow-downs and post office closures.
The Board has real power. Don’t forget, it was a previous Board of Governors that supported plans to eliminate Saturday delivery, close processing centers and privatize our work to Staples. And it was the current Board who hired Postmaster General DeJoy and supported his mail-delaying policies.
A Board with a pro-postal majority can hold the PMG accountable and keep the Postal Service committed to vibrant, public and universal postal service.
How do we get a postal Board that will fight for the people of the country?
Together with many of our allies, the APWU is petitioning the incoming Administration to quickly fill the vacancies on the Board with diverse and community-based members who will be strong advocates for the public Postal Service.
Together, we can send a clear message that postal workers, together with postal customers around the country, urge the Biden Administration support the Postal Service by quickly appointing Governors who will support the People’s Post Office.
|Questions & Answers for the MOU, Re: Additional Function 1 Staffing
Questions & Answers for the MOU, Re: Additional Function 1 Staffing
January 12, 2021
Below, we reproduce the Q&A document signed by APWU President Mark Dimondstein and USPS Vice President, Labor Relations, Katherine Attridge on January 8, 2021, regarding the Function 1 Staffing Memorandum of Understanding, dated December 24, 2020.
1. Question: Will the conversions to career status provided for in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), Re: Additional Function 1 Staffing, count against the 1:4 or 1:6 ratios contained in the MOU, Re: Residual Vacancies – Clerk Craft?
Answer: No. The conversions to career status provided for in the MOU, Re: Additional Function 1 Staffing, are not counted against the subject 1:4 or 1:6 ratios. The conversions to career status provided for in the MOU, Re: Additional Function 1 Staffing, are in addition to those conversions to career status that result when the MOU, Re: Residual Vacancies – Clerk Craft, is applied.
2. Question: What assignments will the Postal Support Employees (PSEs) who are converted to career status pursuant to the MOU, Re: Additional Function 1 Staffing, be placed into?
Answer: The PSEs who are converted to career status pursuant to the MOU, Re: Additional Function 1 Staffing, will be converted to unencumbered full-time regular status and provided the opportunity to preference positions from the residual vacancies listed in the February 2021 posting for regular eReassign for the bid cluster/installation to which they are assigned. The subject PSEs will be placed into these residual vacancies based on their relative standing within the bid cluster/installation. Any PSE who does not successfully secure placement to a residual vacancy will be assigned, in accordance with the provisions of Article 37, a schedule in Function 1 in the facilities to which they are assigned.
3. Question: If the PSEs who are converted to career status pursuant to the MOU, Re: Additional Function 1 Staffing, preference the residual vacancies posted in the February 2021 posting for regular eReassign for the bid cluster/installation to which they are assigned, will additional conversions to career status still occur when the MOU, Re: Residual Vacancies – Clerk Craft, is applied in that bid cluster/installation?
Answer: Yes. The conversions to career status provided for in the MOU, Re: Additional Function 1 Staffing, are in addition to those conversions to career status that result when the MOU, Re: Residual Vacancies – Clerk Craft, is applied. Any PSE conversions in accordance with the MOU, Re: Residual Vacancies – Clerk Craft, will not be counted toward the 5,524 PSE conversions as required by the MOU, Re: Additional Function 1 Staffing.
4. Question: In the 192 plants on the USPS provided list attached to the MOU, Re: Additional Function 1 Staffing, will the PSE conversions result in the clerk duty assignments being increased?
Answer: Yes. F1 duty assignments in those 192 facilities will be over and above the current number of duty assignments. Any conversions to career status that result from residual vacancies listed in the regular eReassign postings will not count toward the subject 5,524 PSE conversions.
5. Question: Will the facilities listed in the USPS provided “Clerk Conversion List 12.24.20” be required to post new duty assignments to account for the increase in career clerk complement as a result from the PSEs converted under the MOU, Re: Additional Function 1 Staffing?
Answer: Yes. As soon as practicable, sufficient duty assignments will be posted for bid within the bid clusters to allow for the bidding or placement of employees due to the agreed upon increase in staffing. Any residual duty assignment will be filled in accordance with Article 37 and the MOU, Re: Residual Vacancies – Clerk Craft.
6. Question: If those converted are placed in unencumbered schedules and are subsequently not placed into a duty assignment through bid or assignment process within 120 days, what will happen?
Answer: Duty assignments will be posted for bid within the installation consistent with Article 37.4.D.
7. Question: Did the usage of the term “FTR Clerk Actual to ‘NEW EARNED’” on the
USPS provided “Clerk Conversion List 12.24.20” attached to the Additional F1 Staffing MOU imply acceptance by the APWU, create a standard, or change either party’s position on whether any computer program/model establishes clerk craft staffing, or affects any disputes where this term/earned hours are cited?
Answer: No. The parties understand that the APWU remains opposed to the Postal Service’s “earned hours” concept.
8. Question: Does any part of the MOU, Re: Additional Function 1 Staffing, alter any part of the MOU, Residual Vacancies – Clerk Craft?
|February ZOOM Trainings
February ZOOM Trainings
Sponsored by APWU Research & Education Department, AFL-CIO
January 8, 2021
The Research and Education Department is sponsoring a series of Zoom Trainings for local and state officers and shop stewards in February 2021.
The link to register is only being sent to local/state presidents. If an officer or steward wishes to attend the Zoom Training, they must contact their president.
Please register in advance for all Workshops no later than Monday, January 25, 2021:
1. The president will provide the link to each participant who must register individually, by completing the registration form that will populate once they click on the link.
2. Participants who use a Post Office email address (@usps.gov) will not be registered.
3. No one should attend this training on the USPS clock and should be in some type of leave status.
The following Workshops, along with dates and Eastern Standard Times for the month of February are:
- Protecting Clerk Craft Work in Small Offices, Tuesday, February 2, (1:00 pm - 5:00 pm)
- Basic Stewards’ Training, Thursday, February 4, (10:00 am - 3:00 pm) (For New Stewards Only. Participation Must be Authorized by the President)
- Representing PSEs in the Clerk Craft, Tuesday, February 9, (1:00 pm - 5:00 pm)
- Basic Stewards’ Training, Thursday, February 11, (1:00 pm - 6:00 pm) (For New Stewards Only. Participation Must be Authorized by the President)
- Large Office Issues, Thursday, February 18, (1:00 pm - 5:00 pm)
- Executive Officers Training, Tuesday, February 23, (1:00 pm - 6:00 pm) (For New Presidents, Executive Vice Presidents, Secretaries & Treasurers)
- Disability Retirement, Thursday, February 25, (1:00 pm - 5:00 pm)
|Message from Legislative & Political Director Judy Beard
Message from Legislative & Political Director Judy Beard
January 4, 2021
We have entered the new year and, with it, a flurry of Congressional activity.
Following the passage of H.R. 113, Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act on December 27th (which included funding for the Postal Service), the House and Senate voted to override the Presidential veto of the National Defense Authorization Act, a bill that provides military funding.
On December 28th, the House passed H.R. 9051, a bill which would increase the $600 direct payments provided in H.R. 113, to $2000. An identical bill was introduced in the Senate and brought forward by Senate Democrats for passage by unanimous consent. This was shot down by Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell who then introduced a separate bill for the $2000, but attached unacceptable provisions (or poison pills) that all but ensure that the increased stimulus payments will not pass.
On January 4th, the 117th Congress will be sworn in. Democrats will control the House, and the fate of the Senate will be decided with the results of the January 5th Senate election in Georgia. If the Democratic challengers win both seats the Senate will be a 50-50 split with Vice President Elect Kamala Harris acting as a tie breaker.
On January 6 at 1:00 the House and Senate will convene for a joint session to hold a constitutionally required meeting to formally count the votes cast by the Electoral College, 306 for Biden, 232 for President Donald Trump, and in the process, formalize President Elect Joe Biden’s victory. Some Republicans are planning to go on the record to oppose the count. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are scheduled to be sworn in as President and Vice President of the United States on January 20.
In this new year we are encouraging our members to stay vigilant and hold their members of congress accountable.
Page Last Updated: Mar 01, 2021 (10:15:58)