WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – A bipartisan bill aimed at modernizing the United States Postal Service and fixing its finances is being held up in the Senate.
Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., prevented the bill from quickly advancing to a vote on Monday, which angered Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
“Nobody should be standing in the way of this bill. It’s a sad day that just one member has,” Schumer, D-N.Y., said.
The legislation already passed the House last week with support from a majority of members from both parties. It was expected to pass the Senate this week but Scott’s opposition makes that unlikely.
“It doesn’t help the post office. It doesn’t help our postal workers. It hurts our Medicare recipients. And we have $30 trillion worth of debt. It does nothing to control the debt in this country,” Scott said.
He says he does support reforming the USPS, but doesn’t think the current legislation does that the right way.
“We go through the committee. We make our amendments. We work hard to improve it. That’s what I would like to happen,” Scott said.
The bill would require postal employees to enroll in Medicare when they’re eligible, in an attempt to cut health care costs for the agency. It would also create an online dashboard to track delivery times.
Democratic Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan was also frustrated to see a vote on the legislation delayed.
“This is common sense. It addresses a critical issue for the American people and they want us to come together to solve it,” Peters said.
Millions of Americans rely on the USPS for deliveries of prescriptions and paychecks. Lawmakers who support the bill say, without help, that service is in jeopardy.
Rep. James Comer of Kentucky was one of the Republicans leading the push to pass it.
“This targeted bill addresses the immediate needs of the postal service to help it succeed into the 21st century,” Comer said.
Even without Sen. Scott’s support, the bill is eventually expected to get enough votes from other Republicans in the Senate to pass.
“The delay is regrettable, but the good news is that we will get bipartisan postal reform done,” Schumer said.