Media Mentions

Documents Show ‘Cozy’ Relationship Between Amazon-Backed Lobbyists And USPS Regulator

By Art Benavidez (Washington, DC Business Daily)

Feb 23, 2022

As the U.S. Senate prepares to consider bipartisan, yet controversial postal reform legislation, document disclosures show what a government watchdog calls a “cozy” relationship between the independent regulator of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and the lobbyists working to shape the legislation favorably for their clients.

The Functional Government Initiative (FGI) has stated they initiated numerous Freedom of Information Act requests to examine how USPS and its shareholders are countering competition from the private sector, carrying out efforts to eliminate contraband from its service, and dealing with rising retiree health costs.

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Records show extensive communications between ‘Package Coalition’ lobbyists and Postal Service regulator

Andy Nghiem (Palmetto Business Daily)

Feb 24, 2022

According to a statement from the Functional Government Initiative (FGI), the documents show a connection between the The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), a regulator responsible for transparency and oversight of USPS operations, and lobbyists for a coalition of package companies that include Amazon and eBay (known as the “Package Coalition”), which have relied on USPS to reduce one of their largest operating costs.

Cosponsored by U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC), the Postal Service Reform Act passed the U.S. House and will soon be considered by the U.S. Senate, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC). The bill would make changes to how USPS handles retirees’ health benefits.

The Package Coalition is lobbying for legislation that would codify an “integrated network” for mail and packages. In an official corporate message, Amazon has publicly supported the Postal Service Reform Act, specifically measures taken in the bill to eliminate USPS’ existing mandate to pre-fund health benefits for retirees and shift those costs onto the Medicare system.

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Government watchdog group investigating DOJ’s Legal Counsel for possible involvement in “hostile takeover” at FDIC

By Andy Nghiem (DOJ Newswire)

Jan 31, 2022

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Legal Counsel is under investigation for possible involvement in a controversy at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). 

According to a Jan. 21 press release, the Functional Government Initiative (FGI) announced that it is investigating the Department of Justice’s role in moves by board members of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to challenge the authority of the FDIC’s chair.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Rohit Chopra, a board member of the FDIC who also is the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, sought a legal opinion from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel on whether the FDIC chair has to set the agenda for the FDIC, as has been the longstanding procedure and practice.

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