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Moran, Connolly Blast USPS Delivery Decision

Rep. Gerry Connolly writes letter to Postmaster General, asking for legal justification for stopping Saturday service.

Stopping the mail on Saturdays? Not so fast, say two members of the Northern Virginia Congressional delegation.

U.S. Rep. James P. Moran (D-8th) and U.S. Rep Gerald Connolly (D-11th) expressed concern about the U.S. Postal Service's announcement that it plans to suspend delivery of first-class mail service on Saturdays beginning in August. 

“I have great concerns about eliminating Saturday mail delivery," Moran wrote in an email to Patch. "The Postal Service is grappling with major forces outside of its control: an economy increasingly relying on email and the Internet for communication, and a Congress that refuses to address the redundant pension pre-funding requirement."

The USPS said on Wednesday that for nearly three decades, Congress has repeatedly passed legislation prohibiting USPS from administratively transitioning to a five-day delivery mail schedule.

The USPS announced on Wednesday that effective Aug. 1 it will no longer deliver regular mail on Saturdays.

"Both forces are driving a well functioning system into the red — only one can be fixed in the short run," said Moran.

 "Congress can and should drop the pre-funding requirement so that we can forestall drastic measures for as long as possible, giving the Postal Service more time to adapt to the changing economy.”

Connolly said that Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe "lacks the constitutional and statutory authority to unilaterally implement his announced plan to eliminate Saturday mail delivery to tens of millions of American homes and businesses."

In a sternly worded letter to Donahoe, sent hours after the announcment of the U.S. Postal Service's plans, Connolly requested that USPS provide legal justification and documentation for the proposed action. Connolly made the same request to Attorney General Eric Holder and Postal Regulatory Commission Chairman Ruth Goldway.

“Logic dictates that when USPS and the Administration repeatedly request that Congress explicitly provide USPS the authority to reduce mail service from six days to five days, it is clear acknowledgement that, absent Congressional action, USPS lacks the statutory authority to do so,” Connolly wrote. 

The letter includes the signature of Republican Congressman Sam Graves (R-MO).

Connolly said that six-day mail delivery “remains a critical strength and competitive advantage for USPS that will enable it to grow business and bolster revenue in the long run.” 

Connolly said the action could result in additional revenue losses and wipe out any operational cost savings, and cited a 2012 confidential study commissioned by USPS showing that a 7.7 percent reduction in mail volume would lead to a revenue loss of $5.2 billion in the first year alone.

 

  

Bob mcdonald February 09, 2013 at 01:11 AM
Citizens of West virginia. Here is a blatant example of your congressmen trying to promote big government. U.S. Rep. James P. Moran (D-8th) and U.S. Rep Gerald Connolly (D-11th) insisting that the post office continue to delivery mail on Saturday when national polls show more than 70% of americans approve of the measure. Who are they representing? Unions maybe? All of the postal workers I have talked to also support this measure. If you can't facilitate this then get out of the way at let the post office take it's best shot at survival. All this B.S. about service and congressional authority we are not buying. Congress can't even get out of its' own way.
Michael February 09, 2013 at 02:29 AM
Bob - West Virginia? Really? And in your anti-government rant, perhaps you failed to notice that the founding fathers thought this service so important that they actually wrote it into the constitution as one of the few things the Federal Government is actually supposed to do. That doesn't mean they have to have Saturday delivery, no. But it does mean that questions about the "survival" of the Postal Service are hyperbole at best. Any serious interpretation of the constitution recognizes that this is, in fact, a core government service, and it will be saved one way or another.
the-stix February 11, 2013 at 01:17 PM
Many of the USPS financial problems are due to Congress. Congressmen Moran & Connolly and their kind would do well to work to fix the problems rather than complain about Saturday delivery, closing of little used post offices, etc. In fact the biggest problem is having to pre-fund retired union worker's benefits, which one can be sure Moran & Connolly will continue with their head in the sand.

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