- NEVER ON SATURDAY: Six-day deliveries could be coming to an end.
I’m hearing that the Postal Service is poised to announce the end of Saturday mail delivery. Perhaps as early as this morning.
The U.S. Senate in April voted for a plan that would have continued Saturday service for at least two years. Both Arkansas senators voted for the legislation. The House, however, never voted on the measure. The Republican majority had a bill that ended Saturday delivery.
Is this a popular idea politically? Polls have shown the public would support an end to Saturday mail service. But is the public at large representative of Arkansas sentiment? It will be interesting to hear what Tom Cotton, Tiny Tim Griffin, Steve Womack and Rick Crawford have to say about the end of Saturday delivery and other postal services.
UPDATE: The reduction in service has been announced, effective this summer. Sen. Mark Pryor comments:
In April 2012, the Senate passed a bipartisan postal reform bill that prohibited the Postal Service from eliminating Saturday delivery for at least two years. After two years, implementation could only move forward if the USPS first attempts to raise revenue and cut costs through other means. Prior to eliminating Saturday delivery, the Postal Service must also identify communities who may be disproportionately affected by five-day delivery and develop steps to address any negative impact.
Last year, the Senate passed—and I supported—a bipartisan postal reform bill to put the U.S. Postal Service back on the road to financial stability. Unfortunately, the House refused to bring our bill to the floor, or offer a bill of their own. Due to the House’s inaction, the Postal Service is now facing crippling deficits.
While I agree the Postal Service needs to cut costs, their plan to end Saturday delivery cannot move forward without Congressional approval. 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. That being said, I hope the House will work with the Senate to pass a common-sense postal reform bill that will keep the USPS viable.
UPDATE II: Rep. Rick Crawford, whose Republican Party prevented passage of a bill to extend Saturday service for two years, is not happy about the decision his party forced.