USPS Moves to Five Day Mail Delivery, Keeps Six Day Package Delivery
February 6, 2013
By Stephanie Newton
Today, the Unites States Postal Service (USPS) announced it will transition to a five day mail delivery service beginning August 2013. By cutting back to a five day mail delivery, the USPS would save $2 billion a year. Mail would still be delivered to post office boxes (P.O. boxes) on Saturday, and post offices that are currently open on Saturdays will remain open on Saturdays. USPS package delivery actually increased 14% from 2010 to 2012, and will remain a six day delivery to ensure our seniors’ ability to receive necessary pharmaceutical drugs.
The five day delivery is response to the declining mail delivery and revenue in recent years. In FY2012, the USPS suffered a $15.9 billion lost, defaulted on $11.1 billion in retiree health benefit pre-payments, and at one point last year met its borrowing cap from the U.S. Treasury. The inability of the USPS to balance its finances results in American taxpayers bailing out the USPS to cover these shortfalls when Congress spends Treasury dollars to keep the USPS afloat.
The USPS is an independent agency that does not receive tax dollars for daily operations; however, they are still under congressional control. In the 112th Congress, H.R. 2309, the Postal Reform Act was introduced and would have eliminated door delivery (saving $3.5 billion annually), changed USPS employee healthcare and pension costs, and given USPS the authority to eliminate six-day delivery. The postal reform legislation did not pass in the 112th Congress and it is unclear whether USPS can eliminate 6 day delivery without congressional approval. Regardless, we must allow the USPS to operate in fiscal solvency, respond to market conditions, and ensure its solvency in the future.
Stephanie Newton is a Legislative Assistant and handles postal issues for Congressman Westmoreland.