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Another fight looms over Saturday mail delivery
The Hill ^ | July 6 2014 | Bernie Becker

Posted on 07/06/2014 1:34:52 PM PDT by PoloSec

Congressional efforts to revamp the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service have run into a longtime roadblock – Saturday mail delivery.

Top Republicans like House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and the Postal Service’s own executives say rolling back six-day letter delivery is crucial to the agency’s fiscal health – saving an average of $2 billion a year.

But GOP efforts to limiting Saturday delivery have hit a pair of snags in recent weeks, with Republican lawmakers representing rural districts balking along with Democrats - illustrating that such a plan doesn’t appear to have the votes to make it through the House. Those problems have also raised even more doubts that a postal reform measure could pass this year, after years of fruitless negotiations.

“It’s a very good question,” Issa told The Hill this month when asked if a bill limiting six-day delivery could pass the House.

GOP leaders have already scrapped a plan to use the savings from delivering letters only five days a week to shore up a Highway Trust Fund that needs an infusion of revenue within weeks.

The House Appropriations Committee also restored a provision to a spending bill that requires six-day delivery, after a bipartisan group of lawmakers objected to it being stripped by Republicans. Rep. Tom Latham (Iowa), one of those rural Republicans, joined with a Democrat, Rep. Jose Serrano (N.Y.), to push for the six-day standard.

In fact, those proposals underscored the trouble that Issa and his allies would have in limiting Saturday delivery on its own. In both cases, the opponents of six-day delivery tried to bring the fight to broader pieces of legislation, hoping that supporters of Saturday delivery could be forced into backing the change.

For Issa, getting a deal on Saturday delivery is key to getting a bigger deal on postal reform – an issue that he sees as a potential legacy for a combative four-year tenure as Oversight chairman that is scheduled to end in January.

Issa believes that he and top lawmakers like Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and even the top Democrat on his panel, Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), could strike a deal pretty quickly if they didn’t have to negotiate over six-day delivery. USPS has said that it wants to only deliver packages, a growing part of its business, on Saturday.

“They all understand that what they want to do is reform the post office by attrition and higher efficiency,” Issa said about other lawmakers working on the Postal Service. “Six-day really has been an unusual impediment.”

The Postal Service has bled billions of dollars in red ink in recent years, as the agency dealt with the rise in digital communication and the fallout from the 2008 fiscal crisis.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and other top postal officials have repeatedly called on Congress to pass a postal reform measure, and have said that inaction on Capitol Hill has forced them to take other cost-cutting moves – like the recent announcement that USPS would close more mail processing centers.

Issa and others believe that USPS needs to more aggressively cut costs, including doing more to shed excess workers.

But postal unions and their allies on Capitol Hill believe Congress should instead give the agency the authority to grow into other business areas, in addition to keeping full six-day delivery.

“The unions would like to continue this featherbedding,” Issa said.

The National Association of Letter Carriers, one of the postal unions, cast the six-day language in the Appropriations Committee as “a clear victory for letter carriers and other supporters of a strong Postal Service.”

But even after that win, labor officials say they’ll have to keep a close eye on the lame-duck session after November’s election. Lawmakers came close to a postal deal in the 2012 lame-duck session, and labor officials don’t doubt that Issa will take another crack at five-day delivery this time around.

Some postal lobbyists have said that, given the stare-down over five-day delivery, congressional negotiators would be better served to seek a more modest agreement that didn’t deal with delivery standards.

But as of yet, Issa has shown no interest in such a path. The Oversight chairman points out that President Obama’s budget calls for five-day delivery, and recently pushed legislation that would force USPS to shift millions of houses to more centralized delivery points.

Still, Cummings said he didn’t see any reason to think congressional opposition to limiting Saturday delivery would break any time soon, noting that “it’s a way of life” in many parts of the country.

“You’ve got unions worried about losing jobs,” he added. “I think it would be extremely difficult. Period.”


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: usps
I don't think eliminating Saturday delivery would adversely affect me, but I can see how it could cause a lot of problems for many.

I am more of the mind that mail should be a function of the private sector, but that has its problems as well I suppose.

1 posted on 07/06/2014 1:34:52 PM PDT by PoloSec
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To: PoloSec

Government, the only entity which can 100% of the market and still lose money.


2 posted on 07/06/2014 1:35:57 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: PoloSec

This will hurt Red States almost exclusively. Not blue ones. Of course I wouldn’t expect dimwit Issa to think anything through.


3 posted on 07/06/2014 1:42:49 PM PDT by RIghtwardHo
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To: PoloSec
Back in the olden days...


4 posted on 07/06/2014 1:45:21 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Sometimes you need more than seven rounds, Much more.)
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To: PoloSec

Absolutely no reason for Saturday delivery. It’s no longer how we do business in most cases.


5 posted on 07/06/2014 1:45:33 PM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: Sacajaweau

I like it.


6 posted on 07/06/2014 1:46:21 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: PoloSec

Considering how wired we are now, I would be good with going to 3-day a week mail (Monday, Wed, Friday). As it is, I only pick-up mine once a week anyway.

With 3-day service, they could use the other two days a week to sort mail and probably be able to cut their budget in half. I just don’t see a strong need for daily delivery anymore.


7 posted on 07/06/2014 1:48:33 PM PDT by BobL
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To: PoloSec

There is no reason the post office should be losing money. I am aware that they are required to fully fund their pensions at the time of hiring (unlike federal government/agencies) which has put a cash crunch on their books. Still, from my vantage point they are moving in the right direction. There is no other entity that can pick up from and drop off to every address in America every day. Fed Ex and UPS skimmed a lot of the cream off their routes but they are doing a decent job trying to get it back. Still some kinks, and those postal vehicles are not ideal for package delivery but $2 billion is less than 3% their annual volume. They should be encouraged to act like any business and plan growth strategies, not strategies to cut back their business. Their annual revenue growth is much lower than their competitors. I think expansion would help. How much does UPS make on Saturday package delivery?


8 posted on 07/06/2014 1:49:22 PM PDT by monkeyshine
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To: PoloSec
Ever since the Post Office took away mail contracts from the railroads and started long-hauling, the service has declined. Plus it went a long ways to killing passenger rail.

Back in the middle of the last century my home town not only had Monday through Saturday daily delivery, but businesses received deliveries twice a day during the work week.

I submit that Congress should stop trying to screw We The People. We require a Postal Service and We require Monday though Saturday delivery.

So Congress, quit messing around! Investigate options as businessmen. And yes, that means nonunion options!!

9 posted on 07/06/2014 1:50:18 PM PDT by DakotaGator (Weep for the lost Republic! And keep your powder dry!!)
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To: BobL

That’s a good transition step as they announce a 5 year going out of business plan

They can start by closing our downtown post office which has a newer larger one 8 blocks away.

Oceanside ca


10 posted on 07/06/2014 1:50:58 PM PDT by morphing libertarian ( On to impeachment and removal (IRS, Open Borders, pro-terrorist, Fast and furious, VA, Benghazi)!!!)
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To: Sacajaweau

I have yet to get any piece of mail on Saturday that would have made a difference on, say Monday. If something is needed that urgently plenty of other options can be used from electronic means to a commercial priority service.


11 posted on 07/06/2014 1:51:00 PM PDT by matt04
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To: PoloSec
Digitize all mail service and turn the USPS into a social media site like Facebook, where people can view their mail and pay their bills on a secure website.

For packages, contract with the UPS stores or turn existing post offices into package stations, and let people pick up their packages from there.

Also, let the USPS get into the money-transfer, check-cashing, and pay-day loan businesses.

Mail service is obsolete. It's time for the USPS to embrace the 21st century.

12 posted on 07/06/2014 1:54:42 PM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist
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To: All

Get rid of it!


13 posted on 07/06/2014 1:55:29 PM PDT by Royal Wulff
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To: BobL
3-day a week mail

And you could combine that with Saturday delivery. Half the people could be Mon.-Wed.-Fri., the other half Tues.-Thurs-Sat.

But then they'd argue who was on what schedule.

14 posted on 07/06/2014 1:56:27 PM PDT by MUDDOG
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To: PoloSec

In the 1960s, they delivered residential mail twice a day. The mailman walked the route with his big leather bag.


15 posted on 07/06/2014 1:58:41 PM PDT by MUDDOG
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To: PoloSec

It’s a demonstration of how generally useless our elected officials are that they continue to come up with ways to “save” the post office money that will just make it less useful and therefore lose it money, when all they have to do is stop making the PO pay for the next 25 years of pensions every month. Congress are the guys that put the PO in this situation with one bad sentence, and they can get it out by erasing that sentence, but no that’s too easy, let’s get rid of Saturday delivery.


16 posted on 07/06/2014 1:59:03 PM PDT by discostu (Ladies and gentlemen watch Ruth!)
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To: PoloSec
I would have no problem receiving my 2nd and 3rd Class junk mail advertising circulars for buggy whips and 8 track tapes once a week.

If I really needed something delivered in a hurry, the USPS could charge for a premium service. What we have now is an anachronism and a huge waste of money and resources. Cutting down the amount of deliveries would save the operation and prevent the inevitable emergency bailout.

17 posted on 07/06/2014 1:59:12 PM PDT by Radix ("..Democrats are holding a meeting today to decide whether to overturn the results of the election.")
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist

I believe they farm out all their parcels. Let’s look into those bazillion dollar contracts.


18 posted on 07/06/2014 2:03:42 PM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist

http://postandparcel.info/55406/news/companies/fedex-beats-ups-to-10-5bn-us-postal-service-airmail-contract/


19 posted on 07/06/2014 2:05:18 PM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: PoloSec

The way the Government works, they will probably come up with a Bill that forces FEDEX and UPS to start Saturday Deliveries (with no additional cost) to even the Playing Field.


20 posted on 07/06/2014 2:07:34 PM PDT by Kickass Conservative (THEY LIVE, and we're the only ones wearing the Sunglasses...)
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To: DakotaGator
We require a Postal Service and We require Monday though Saturday delivery.

You don't speak for all of us. I can live w/ MWF delivery.

21 posted on 07/06/2014 2:10:27 PM PDT by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: PoloSec

Really who gives up a rip about mail not being delivered on Saturday BESIDES politicians and union bosses? I’ll bet nobody.


22 posted on 07/06/2014 2:11:49 PM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: driftdiver

“Government, the only entity which can 100% of the market and still lose money.”

Actually, the Post Office competitors have bought off Congress. Some decades ago , Congress forbid USPS from owning any planes, they rent/lease or pay for storage of mail on flights. Meanwhile, DHL, UPS, Fedex etc own their own planes. Their have been a myraid of ways that the USPS private competitors have used congress to tie-up our postal service and make it non-competitive.


23 posted on 07/06/2014 2:11:55 PM PDT by RBStealth (--raised by wolves, disciplined and educated by nuns.)
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To: PoloSec

Saturday is a day when I get real mail.

Tuesdays, with rare exception, I get nothing but junk, all of which goes directly into the trash. Tuesday is also the day the trash pickup occurs.


24 posted on 07/06/2014 2:58:32 PM PDT by Balding_Eagle (I am a proud citizen of an idea called America.)
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To: DakotaGator
Back in the middle of the last century my home town not only had Monday through Saturday daily delivery, but businesses received deliveries twice a day during the work week.

I remember twice a day home delivery. Of course, I'm old.

25 posted on 07/06/2014 3:04:24 PM PDT by Graybeard58 ( What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? 1 Cor. 13, V.36)
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To: Royal Wulff
Get rid of it!

You can't, it's one of the few and defined functions of the federal government.

26 posted on 07/06/2014 3:09:53 PM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist
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To: PoloSec

Revenue is down because the Postal Service is typical of any governmental enterprise (if you can call it that) so the answer is to make their services even more horrible than they presently are.

Yep! That’s the key “given them even worse service and they will be crawling to you for even worse service and a premium price and that includes free lost mail, delayed mail and a lot of mail that never reaches it’s destination.

I can’t wait for even more horrible service at even more horrible rates.

I’ve operated a business for more than 40 years and every year their service gets worse.

Where it used to take about one to two minutes to mail a box or letter at the post office, it has stretched over an average of 7 minutes per customer (I’ve made it a point to bring my stopwatch every time I go there).

Also, in this modern age check out how many paper stamps, forms to fill out and the number of rubber stamps they have to place on the package. The best thing to watch is the postman drive up to my business, fill out a whole lot of paperwork in his truck before he can even get out to bring the packages to me. Once there he has the most “GOD AWFUL” device to use to actually make the final delivery once out of his truck.....it’s some type of electronic device from the 1990’s that he has to actually push buttons on like a phone and it’s 50/50 manual input and actual written input on it’s tiny screen.

Once again, I time the delivery person and it averages about 7 minutes once again to actually drive up, deliver the package and drive off.

UPS driver comes up to my business, takes about 1.5 minutes to get the package, walk up to deliver it and return to his truck to make the next delivery.

A flagrant difference between a “for profit” business and one that tries by running customers off.

I’ve been using UPS for my business shipments and deliveries since 1986 and to date, have never experienced a lost package or packet...either shipped or received.

With the postal service I’ve had such bad experiences in both lost mail (or shipments) that I do not allow any shipments from my business via postal service.

Up until the last few years the postal service was somewhat reliable in the delivery of bill payments and invoices to my customers but over the past year I’ve had them not deliver approximately 14 mailed payments that have never arrived to their destination and it’s $20.00 every time I have to cancel payment and pay the late fees involved.

I know, I should use the internet for paying bills or automatic bank transfers but unless you are in business you can do that.

If you have ever been in an IRS audit you can’t even comprehend the misery you bring upon yourself (or business) without a physical “paper trail” that can be physically scrutinized by them. I’ve gone through that HELL and will never do it again for I’ve come to understand that they don’t want you to use the latest technology at all for they live back in the 50’s and they expect you to do the same.

The end result is you have to use the postal service for a majority of bill paying/billing or anything that requires a paper trail. Example: checks with the payee company endorsement on it. Don’t have it, your problem.....period!

I guess you have come to the conclusion that I hate the post service. You are right.

I’m old enough to compare the old EFFICIENT postal service that self-destructed in the late 60’s and early 70’s.


27 posted on 07/06/2014 3:13:00 PM PDT by DH (Once the tainted finger of government touches anything the rot begins)
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To: Royal Wulff
Get rid of it!

Get rid of e-mail.

And bring back bookstores and newspapers.

I am sick of this high tech crap.

28 posted on 07/06/2014 3:21:46 PM PDT by Age of Reason
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To: morphing libertarian

They can start by closing our downtown post office...”

One of the things I noticed as we were driving through New Mexico a couple of years ago was all of the post offices, all relatively new and way too close together, particularly considering the sparse population. Looks like Richardson received more than his share of Federal tax money.

Bet if government agencies were to do direct deposits to recipient’s accounts rather than mail checks there would be significantly less mail to deliver in some parts of every city. Certainly one of the things they could do is to charge everyone first class rates. That would eliminate almost 99 percent of the mail to our address, since most of it is from local grocery stores.

If their kiosks were kept full of postage and properly maintained, they could eliminate the need for most of their employees.


29 posted on 07/06/2014 3:32:58 PM PDT by Grams A (The Sun will rise in the East in the morning and God is still on his throne.)
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To: PoloSec

When I first heard discussions of cutting back (a few years now) one option mentioned was eliminating one weekday, Tuesday, I think, and keeping Saturday. ai think that would be better.


30 posted on 07/06/2014 3:37:42 PM PDT by smalltownslick
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To: PoloSec
The feds can deliver sickly illegal aliens around the country on Saturdays and Sundays, but they can't be bothered to deliver your mail to you.

-PJ

31 posted on 07/06/2014 3:39:48 PM PDT by Political Junkie Too (If you are the Posterity of We the People, then you are a Natural Born Citizen.)
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To: DH
"That’s the key “given them even worse service and they will be crawling to you for even worse service and a premium price and that includes free lost mail, delayed mail and a lot of mail that never reaches it’s destination."

Hey, every election cycle, they are delivering more and more ballots.....(except for the ones that can be strategically and discreetly "lost").

32 posted on 07/06/2014 3:40:36 PM PDT by cookcounty (IRS = Internal Revenge Service.)
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To: Age of Reason

“Get rid of e-mail.

And bring back bookstores and newspapers.

I am sick of this high tech crap.”

Bet everyone avoids walking on your lawn.


33 posted on 07/06/2014 3:42:39 PM PDT by Fuzz
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To: DakotaGator
Back in the middle of the last century my home town not only had Monday through Saturday daily delivery, but businesses received deliveries twice a day during the work week.

I don't require Monday-through-Saturday delivery. I'd do fine with a couple of days a week, since most of our bills come electronically and most of them are paid electronically. Electronic payment from home is something that wasn't possible in the middle of the last century.

Just like the Pony Express wasn't a reasonable answer a century after it was first used, six-day-a-week service probably isn't needed now. Things change.

I submit that Congress should stop trying to screw We The People. We require a Postal Service and We require Monday though Saturday delivery.

Please don't speak for "We the People", because you certainly do not and there is no reason that I should have to subsidize your wants or how you choose to conduct your business or private life.

There is a difference between "need" and "want", and it sounds like you'd do well to figure that difference out. If you "need" access to your mail every single day, pay for a post office box. Most of the rest of us could easily do without.

Americans have had it a lot harder than not getting mail delivery every day but Sunday. Its time we stop spending money we plainly don't have.

34 posted on 07/06/2014 5:27:38 PM PDT by mountainbunny (Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens ~ J.R.R. Tolkien)
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To: PoloSec

The volume of mail has gone from a high of 95.9 billion pieces in 2007 to a low of 73.5 billion in 2011. I’ve seen the numbers for the last few years, but can’t find them. Every year has been lower than the last.

We can’t sustain this model from a monetary point of view.

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/story/2012-07-16/Postal-Service-Senate-House/56260790/1


35 posted on 07/06/2014 5:49:45 PM PDT by mountainbunny (Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens ~ J.R.R. Tolkien)
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To: BobL
Considering how wired we are now, I would be good with going to 3-day a week mail (Monday, Wed, Friday).

I'm with you on that. Because I get most of my bills by e-mail and pay them on line, AND because I made a concerted effort to get off mailing lists and stop junk mail, at least half the week I don't get any mail at all. I'd be OK with even once or twice a week delivery.

36 posted on 07/06/2014 6:11:53 PM PDT by Fast Moving Angel (It is no more than a dream remembered, a Civilization gone with the wind.)
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To: PoloSec
"GOP leaders have already scrapped a plan to use the savings from delivering letters only five days a week to shore up a Highway Trust Fund that needs an infusion of revenue within weeks. "

This phrase nicely summarizes the problems with our economy.

The USPS is operating in the red and considering cutting back, and they're discussing savings?

37 posted on 07/06/2014 6:56:55 PM PDT by MV=PY (The Magic Question: Who's paying for it?)
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