Capitol Hill Mixed on Postal Service Plan to Cut Delivery
February 6, 2013 - 4:01 pm
Texas GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert today called the U.S. Postal Service decision to stop Saturday mail delivery “just another example of protecting bureaucrats’ jobs at the regional level and up –all at the cost of the American people.”
“It is an attempt to restore a system that is already broken, and in a way, that disproportionately affects millions of Americans, companies and small communities who may depend on Saturday delivery for business and communication,” he said.
Gohmert said instead the USPS should thin its ranks at the top, “who do not help with the mail getting delivered, but instead just come up with these illogical decisions.”
“What some of the USPS bureaucrats don’t understand is that when they make it more difficult to send a letter efficiently and quickly and eliminate convenient places to utilize services, they will have fewer people using services,” he said.
But House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, sent a letter to congressional leaders today endorsing the modified delivery plan, which would keep packages at 6-day delivery but knock letters down to 5-day.
“This common-sense reform would save the Postal Service more than two billion annually,” wrote Coburn and Issa. “In his recent inaugural address, President Obama spoke about the need to find real solutions to our nation’s problems. Supporting the US Postal Service’s plan to move forward with 5-day mail delivery is one such solution worthy of bipartisan support.”
The letter also notes that “President Obama has repeatedly called for moving to 5-day delivery of mail, most recently in his FY 2013 budget.”
Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) decried the proposal as potentially impacting his state worse than the lower 48.
“This is bad news for Alaskans and small business owners who rely on timely delivery to rural areas,” Begich said. “This decision to end Saturday delivery will undoubtedly slow overall delivery time. The Postal Service should have allowed Congress to address this issue through the legislative process.”
Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) blamed the Republican-led House for the Postal Service’s “crippling deficits.”
“While I agree the Postal Service needs to cut costs, their plan to end Saturday delivery cannot move forward without Congressional approval,” Pryor said. “They need to consider alternative measures, such as capping the salaries of their top executives or eliminating bonuses, before making changes that would hurt rural communities who depend on the Postal Service for commerce, news, and necessary goods.”
“For nearly three decades, it has been the clear intent of Congress that the Postal Service provide most communities with six days of mail delivery,” said Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.). “That said, I have long argued that Congress should reduce the number of service mandates it places on the Postal Service so that the Postmaster General and his team can more easily adjust operations to reflect the changing demand for the products and services they offer.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said 5-day delivery “will lead to a death spiral that will harm rural America while doing very little to improve the financial condition of the Postal Service.”
“Rural Americans, businesses, senior citizens and veterans will be hurt by ending Saturday mail,” Sanders added.