The House Oversight Committee today unveiled a discussion draft postal reform bill. In a press conference, five key Committee members, including Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT-3rd) and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD-7th), explained the draft bill's core elements. The bill will be marked up in committee in about two weeks, then introduced so it will be ready when Congress is back in session. Among them, it establishes separately rated postal plans within the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) beginning in January 2018, and calculates the Postal Service’s pension costs and liabilities using the salary growth and demographic assumptions that are specific to the Postal Service population instead of the government-wide population, as in current law. Although the Chairman said the goal of the bill was to avoid rate increases, in light of insistence by USPS management that it cannot operate without the reinstatement of the full 4.3% exigency surcharge and by the mailing industry for no Congressionally-mandated postage increase of any kind, the draft bill compromised by allowing for a 2.15% increase.
Staples and Office Depot today announced that they have mutually agreed with the Federal Trade Commission to extend the review period for the Office Depot acquisition. Under the terms of the agreement, the FTC has agreed to issue its decision regarding this transaction by December 8, 2015.
“We’re pleased to reach an agreement with the FTC to extend the review period for the Office Depot transaction,” said Ron Sargent, Chairman and CEO, Staples, Inc. “This transaction will enable us to better serve our customers and to compete in an evolving marketplace. We will continue to work cooperatively with the Federal Trade Commission.”
Regulators in Australia, New Zealand and China have approved the transaction. Staples and Office Depot continue to work with regulatory authorities in the European Union, the United States and Canada.