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A Preview Of The 2022 U.S. Midterm Elections; A Tentative Agreement In Major League Baseball; A New Bill For The United States Postal Service. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired March 11, 2022 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: First point of business on today`s show that sums a lot of things up is a timeless, quote, Fridays are awesome.

I`m Carl Azuz. It`s great to have you watching as we kick off this Friday`s coverage.

We are less than eight months away from the U.S. midterm elections of 2022. In the House of Representatives where all the voting members are elected

every two years, there are currently 222 Democrats, 211 Republicans, and two vacant seats.

U.S. senators serve six-year terms. About a third of these seats are elected every two years. And in that chamber, there are currently 50

Republicans and 50 Democrats, technically two of the Democrat seats are held by independents but they vote with the Democrats. So, 50 Democratic

votes when things go down party lines.

The midterm elections could significantly change the make-ups of these two chambers, so you can expect to see a lot of coverage in the months ahead in

national media. But a lot of the action on November 8th goes well beyond the U.S. Congress. The capitals of Arkansas, Florida, New Jersey, West

Virginia, they`re among those holding mayoral races. Plus, there are dozens of gubernatorial races, local races.

We`ll let CNN 10 contributor Rachel Janfaza take it from here.


RACHEL JANFAZA, CNN10 CONTRIBUTOR: Every two years in the United States, voters go to the polls and while Americans aren`t picking a president this

November, there are a number of high-profile seats on the ballot.

The elections in the middle of a president`s term are called the midterm elections. Many refer to these as a referendum on the president and their

administration. These elections give voters a chance to weigh in on what`s happening both in their home communities and on Capitol Hill.

In 2022, all 435 House seats and 34 of the 100 Senate seats are up for grabs, and 36 out of 50 states will elect governors. There are also

statewide races for secretary of state and attorney general, as well as city-wide races for mayor in cities such as Los Angeles, California,

Austin, Texas, and Washington, D.C. And there are down ballot races for state legislature seats, city councils, and school boards across the

country too.

Historically, elections halfway through a president`s term don`t bode well for the president`s party. In this century since voters began electing U.S.

senators, the president`s party has only gained seats in either the Senate or the House a handful of time and only in both chambers twice. At stake is

the battle for control of the House and Senate.

The Democrats majority in Congress is razor thin. The Senate is a 50-50 split, with Vice President Kamala Harris`s tie-breaking vote giving them

the advantage and Speaker Nancy Pelosi`s control of the House rests on a single-digit margin.

Typically, the midterm elections have lower turnout than presidential election years, but in 2018, the last midterm elections on the books, there

was historic voter turnout especially among younger voters.


AZUZ: Got word yesterday afternoon that a deal has been reached in Major League Baseball between team owners and the players association. The two

sides have been hung up over a new collective bargaining agreement. The terms they have to agree on before games could take place; players`

salaries, contract rules, post-season rules. They`re all part of this.

And when the owners and players couldn`t reach a deal last year, the league announced a lockout that kept players from training at team facilities and

put new trades and contracts on hold.

Opening day was postponed, some games were canceled. But now that an agreement`s reportedly been reached, we expect to hear the words play ball

pretty soon.



AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:

Which of these U.S. government organizations is the oldest?

Department of Agriculture, Postal Service, Customs Service, or Presidential Cabinet?

Dating back to 1775, years before the Constitution was signed, the Postal Service is the oldest institution on this list.


AZUZ: The U.S. Congress has taken a step to try to solve one of the ongoing problems with the Postal Service. This is the only organization

that`s allowed to deliver mail in the United States and it has plenty of work to do. The COVID shutdowns that started two years ago led to increased

package deliveries.

There`s been a steady stream of first-class mail, which includes everything from business and legal documents, to credit and debit cards, notices from

the IRS, license plates.

But the USPS faces a series of unique challenges and part of the reason is the unique way in which the organization operates.


REPORTER: The U.S. Postal Service can trace its history back to when the Second Continental Congress appointed Benjamin Franklin as postmaster

general to help ensure that free ideas and information could be shared throughout the colony. It was not intended to be a profitable business.

REP. RO KHANNA (D-CA): It`s about service, correct? Not about profit.

REPORTER: Today, there`s no other government agency or business that operates like the Postal Service.

First of all, the U.S. Postal Service receives zero tax dollars for operating expenses. The Postal Service has to use its own revenue from

things like stamps and package deliveries to operate, although it does receive indirect government subsidies such as having a protected monopoly

on delivering first-class mail.

Secondly, the Postal Service doesn`t set its own prices like FedEx and UPS do. Congress sets them. But by law, USPS has to deliver to every home in

the country, no matter how remote or unprofitable that delivery may be.

Case in point; to this day, the Postal Service delivers mail to a small group of people living in the Grand Canyon by mule.

This leads to the third problem; the U.S. Postal Service has been losing money for over a decade.

LOUIS DEJOY, UNITED STATES POSTMASTER GENERAL: Without change, our losses will only increase in the years to come.

REPORTER: In 2019, the Postal Service reported $71 billion in revenue, but its expenses totaled almost $80 billion. If you dig into those numbers

though, the picture becomes a bit complicated.

In 2006, Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. It requires the U.S. Postal Service to pre-fund 75 years worth of retirees`

health care benefits in the span of about 10 years. Before this law went into effect, the Postal Service was reporting profits.

So, the U.S. Postal Service is subject to the congressional oversight of other federal agencies without any of the taxpayer funding. It has the

profit-driven business model of a private company, without the freedom to make financial decisions for itself.


AZUZ: The funding requirement for retirees` health care benefits isn`t the only reason the USPS has been losing money. Its profits had been shrinking

before that law. The advent of email reduced the letters Americans were sending. A series of bad business decisions also lost money for the


But the health funding law became a major factor in USPS losses, and a new bill that`s passed in Congress will get rid of that requirement. The Postal

Service Reform Act has support from Democrats and Republicans. It passed last month in the House of Representatives by a vote of 342-92. It passed

the other day in the Senate by a vote of 79 to 19.

What it`ll do is require postal workers who`ve retired to enroll in Medicare, a government health insurance program for Americans ages 65 and

older. It`s mostly funded by taxpayers so the Postal Service won`t have to pay those costs itself.

Critics of the bill say it won`t do much else though, like it won`t have any impact on mail delivery service. The bill`s headed to President Joe

Biden`s desk for signature.


AZUZ: For 10 out of 10, a real-life rodeo on the streets of Los Angeles. A cow recently got loose there and brought traffic to a really slow pace for

a while, but then hilarity ensued as it ran in and out of neighborhoods, in and out of parking lots, up the stairs, evading authorities again and


At one point, it even strolled alongside a truck with a fake horse in it. Finally, near a ranch, resolute wranglers roped the reckless ruminant.

If only it cud have escaped to Beverly Hills and hoofed it down Rodeo Drive. It might have been the lasso place you`d expect to see it. Cow

prince may not be on the menu or the moo. But leather`s always in, so if you`re bullish about rounding up some steer style, that`s the place to

stake out.

I`m Carl Azuz and there`s the beef.

Klein Collins High School, great to see you watching from Spring, Texas.

And we hope everyone has a wonderful weekend from all of us here at CNN 10.