The budget-embattled U.S. Portal Service has withdrawn its plan to end Saturday mail delivery, drawing raves from members of Congress who weren’t content with mail on business days.
Actually, the Postal Service Board of Governors said in its announcement today, their hand was a bit forced by language in the continuing resolution that wouldn’t let USPS implement the change that would have gone into effect Aug. 5.
“Although disappointed with this Congressional action, the Board will follow the law and has directed the Postal Service to delay implementation of its new delivery schedule until legislation is passed that provides the Postal Service with the authority to implement a financially appropriate and responsible delivery schedule. The Board believes that Congress has left it with no choice but to delay this implementation at this time. The Board also wants to ensure that customers of the Postal Service are not unduly burdened by ongoing uncertainties and are able to adjust their business plans accordingly,” the statement said.
“The Board continues to support the transition to a new national delivery schedule. Such a transition will generate approximately $2 billion in annual cost savings and is a necessary part of a larger five-year business plan to restore the Postal Service to long-term financial stability. According to numerous polls, this new delivery schedule is widely supported by the American public. Our new delivery schedule is also supported by the Administration and some members of Congress.”
Members who didn’t support the end to Saturday delivery, though, are happy (and taking credit).
“I’m pleased to see the U.S. Postal Service has taken my advice and withdrawn its plan to end Saturday mail delivery,” Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) said. “Instead of cutting mail services for rural communities and seniors, the USPS should consider eliminating costly conferences in San Francisco and cutting executive bonuses. I hope we can now get back to work on a common-sense reform bill that keeps the USPS viable.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has introduced legislation that would push the USPS to find innovative new ways to make money by lifting legal bans on services such as notarizing documents and by shifting more Postal Service business online.
“This is good news for rural communities, businesses, seniors, veterans and others who depend on consistent and timely delivery of the mail,” Sanders said. “We all recognize that the Postal Service is experiencing financial problems, which is why I have offered comprehensive legislation to modernize the Postal Service and rescind an onerous requirement for it to pre-fund 75 years of future health care benefits for retirees.”