Postal Affairs Committee (Rafe Morrissey, GCA Vice President, Postal Affairs)
Fate of Postal Reform Quietly Advances Amidst Partisan Rancor
With the recent failure of healthcare reform, competing claims of hacked elections and wiretapping and the deployment of a second “nuclear option,” there is little indication that the Members of the 115th Congress will be able to work together on legislation. Yet, despite all the chaos, critically needed postal reform legislation has quietly advanced.
In fact, anyone observing the recent markup of H.R. 756, The Postal Reform Act of 2017 in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, might have felt that they had been transported to an earlier time when civility and bipartisanship prevailed. I haven’t done an official count but I would estimate that at least 80 percent of the opening statements from Committee Members were devoted to praising the cooperation from colleagues on the other side of the aisle. That spirit pervaded the remainder of the proceedings. A few amendments that would have upset the delicate balance in the legislation were defeated on a strong bipartisan basis and the bill was approved without objection.
To put it in perspective, Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) has accomplished in less than three months what it took him almost 19 months to do in the last Congress. Not only was this accomplished in record time, but the bill was also approved without a single objection from Democrats. That is remarkable when Republicans and Democrats can’t seem to agree on anything. But, make no mistake; there are still significant challenges ahead.
In order to make it to the House floor, the bill must first clear the powerful Ways and Means Committee that has jurisdiction over a key provision stabilizing Postal Service finances by integrating its retirees into Medicare. Then there is the Senate, which must move any bill coming over from the House quickly in order to reach the President’s desk. Of course, the President must then agree to sign the bill. Fortunately, there is hope that all of these obstacles can be overcome.
Productive talks are underway between Chairmen Chaffetz and Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX). In addition, the broad coalition supporting the legislation has engaged in outreach to the individual Members on the Committee and the response so far is encouraging. Bill sponsors are very confident the legislation can pass on the House Floor if it can clear Ways and Means.
In the Senate, there have been a number of positive indications that the House bill would be positively received if key rural service performance protections important to both Republican and Democratic senators can be added. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) has promised that the House will make the needed changes.
Finally, there have been multiple meetings with the Administration on the importance of postal reform up to and including the President and the preliminary response appears positive. If the accelerated legislative pace can be continued and the engagement of so many stakeholders remains strong, I think there is a strong possibility postal reform can reach the desk of the President by August. Major accomplishments could be few and far between this Congress and legislators who are able to tell voters they saved the Postal Service could look very attractive when those Members of Congress head home to face voters over the summer recess.
Associates Update (Phil St. Germain, GCA Associates Chair)
Watch for an update in the June issue of Card Talk.
Communications & PR Committee (Joel Gryniewski, Chair)
The Committee is working on the second annual GCA/Stationery Trends industry survey — and we encourage every member to participate. All responses are confidential and will be reported in aggregate only.
The Membership Committee (Alan Friedman, Chair)
Thank you to the more than 70 GCA members who renewed their membership – and as importantly, to the 25 new publisher members and two new associate members who joined the GCA family. All of you help to strengthen our industry through the GCA’s collective voice. (And there’s still time to renew with one of these three easy options: online, call us at 202.216.9627 or send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org).
LOUIE Awards Committee (Nicole Hite-Heleniak, Chair)
Congratulations to all of our LOUIE finalists! We’re looking forward to a universe of wonders at this year’s, star-studded LOUIE Awards Gala. Be among the first to find out this year’s LOUIE winners – and be on hand when the GCA presents its Lifetime Achievement Award to Richard Evans, Birchcraft Studios by DFS (formerly Birchcraft Studios). Delight in some out-of-this-world entertainment as you toast the winners and savor a delicious dinner. Buy your tickets today before the tickets sell out – and they will! Buy your tickets.
Thank you to all of our generous sponsors:
GCA Convention (Glen Biely, Chair)
Online registration opens at the end of May! Stay tuned for speakers and social events in sunny San Diego.
Card Talk encourages GCA members to contribute articles, news or insights. Contact email@example.com if you have an idea for a submission. Thanks to Kathy Krassner, senior editor, NobleWorks, for sharing how the company is “making America greet again.”
NOBLEWORKS GETS ALL TRUMPED UP!
Introducing a bigly selection of funny Trump-themed and political cards
NobleWorks just can’t get enough of our new President, so we’ve added lots of over-the-top, Trump-inspired cards for birthdays and for the fall holidays, including Halloween, Christmas and New Year’s. In addition to Trump cards, we’ve also released several timely new birthday and holiday cards for Hillary and Bernie fans, plus some female-empowerment cards you simply can’t Resist. All NobleWorks cards retail for just $3.50 each; and are printed on recycled paper, on demand, in the U.S. We’re Making America GREET Again!
“Ask an Expert”
Instead of asking one expert – what about asking five? This year, the GCA invites you to “Ask the Experts” following the GCA Signature Mixer at the National Stationery Show. Here’s all you need to know about this new professional development program featuring five greeting card experts who will give brief presentations and then answer your questions in small break-out groups on these topics:
- What a Distributor Looks For in a Card Line (Tory Wright, Paper E. Clips)
- What Makes a Greeting Card a Gift? (Susan January, Leanin’ Tree)
- Selling on Amazon (Ron Kanfi, Nobleworks)
- About the GCA Mentorship Program (Steve Gimbelman, Designer Greetings)
- Digital Production Pros and Cons (Sue Charlier, J.S. McCarthy Printers)
Who: Open to GCA members and guests
Where: LOUIE Awards Display, Javits Center (second floor near NSS registration)
When: Monday, May 22, 6 to 6:30p.m.
Why: As the industry’s leading voice, the GCA offers members a variety of educational, networking and mentoring benefits. “Meet the Experts” is just one of the new benefits debuting at this year’s National Stationery Show. Also new this year is the GCA Village: which offers GCA members (who may not need a large exhibit space) to showcase their products under the GCA banner. Stop by the GCA Village (booth #1310) to meet representatives from various companies.
RSVP: By Wednesday May 17 to save your seat.
And don’t forget to buy your tickets to the LOUIE Awards Gala the evening of Sunday, May 21 and help us celebrate the best our industry has to offer. Buy your tickets by May 8th to guarantee your group seating preference.
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org .