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Facebook helps senator chart bill's delay

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Washington lawmakers frequently complain about things moving too slowly on Capitol Hill, but one Senate Democrat is using Facebook’s new timeline feature to make his point.

Sen. Thomas R. Carper, Delaware Democrat, is chronicling the House’s inaction on a bill aimed at saving the U.S. Postal Service from both fiscal disaster and steep service cuts. The Senate passed the legislation in April, but House leaders have yet to call up the legislation for a vote, leaving the mail service to navigate its own course through growing deficits.

The Facebook page is titled “Priority Fail.” The timeline begins in May 2011 — when Mr. Carper introduced the overhaul plan in the Senate — and charts the bill’s passage through Senate and House committees. But while the Senate moved ahead on the legislation, the House hasn’t taken any action since October.

Without intervention by lawmakers, the Postal Service will move ahead with its own business plan, which includes more post office closings and service cutbacks. Congress’ plan phases in cutbacks more slowly, preserves Saturday deliveries for now and includes a series of reforms intended to cut costs and make operations more efficient.

Mr. Carper lately has been intensifying his calls for the House to pass the bill, saying the Postal Service has lost $1 billion since the Senate approved the legislation.

“My new Facebook page calls attention to my House colleagues’ failure to deliver postal reform thus far and — hopefully — encourages them to act swiftly to debate and pass a bill to preserve this American institution for generations to come,” he said.

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