U.S. Senator Mark Pryor released the following statement regarding the U.S. Postal Service's plan to end Saturday mail delivery:
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.
U.S. Senator John Boozman also released a statement:
"We need to provide the postal service with greater flexibility to continue serving its customers. That's why I supported Senate-passed legislation last year that gives good guidance to getting the USPS back on its feet and offering options for reform without cutting practical service. While I am disappointed the postal service had to resort to changing its delivery service, the financial strain of losing nearly $16 billion last year should not come at the expense of the needs of Arkansans. We will work to limit the ramifications this decision will have on businesses and families who rely on the postal service."
Original story (7:00 a.m.):
It's been debated ad nauseum for months and months, but on Wednesday the United States Postal Service finally will announce it is not going to deliver mail on Saturdays anymore.
The postal service's announcement, planned for about 10 a.m. EST, is expected to say that packages will continue to be delivered on Saturday, but not cards, letters, bills, etc.
The move is meant to save the financially struggling agency about $2 billion annually as it wrestles with the rising popularity of email and social media and with climbing health benefit costs.
In January, the USPS' board of governors directed management to accelerate the restructuring of postal service operations in the face of declining revenues. It said that the USPS could no longer afford to wait for legislation.
The agency reported an annual loss of a record $15.9 billion for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, triple the prior year's loss and capping a year in which it was forced to default on payments to a health benefit trust fund managed by the Treasury Department. The rising costs for future retiree health benefits accounted for $11.1 billion of the losses.
The USPS is an independent agency of the government. It does not get tax money to fund its day-to-day operations, but it is subject to congressional control, and congressional foot-dragging.
On Jan. 27, the USPS raised postage stamp prices by one cent to 46 cents to help raise revenues. "We are currently losing $25 million per day," Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe warned in January