One of the Senate’s most outspoken progressives is vowing to fight the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) decision to end Saturday delivery of mail.
“The postmaster general cannot save the Postal Service by ending one of its major competitive advantages. Cutting six-day delivery is not a viable plan for the future. It will lead to a death spiral that will harm rural America while doing very little to improve the financial condition of the Postal Service,” says Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). “Providing fewer services and less quality will cause more customers to seek other options. Rural Americans, businesses, senior citizens and veterans will be hurt by ending Saturday mail.”
The House last year refused to consider a Senate-passed postal reform bill that Sanders helped draft.
The Senate measure to modernize the Postal Service would have changed a 2006 congressional requirement that the mail service pre-fund 75 years’ worth of future retiree health benefits over a 10-year period. That pre-funding requirement is responsible for about 80 percent of the struggling Postal Service’s financial losses since 2007.
“No other government agency, no other corporation in America is burdened with this mandate. This mandate must be lifted,” Sanders says.
Current federal law makes it illegal to end Saturday mail delivery. The Senate-passed bill would have reinforced the ban for two more years. USPS officials are asking Congress not to renew the requirement for Saturday delivery when it expires in March.
“It is time for Republican leadership in the House to work with the Senate to reform the Postal Service in a way that will not harm rural America and allows the Postal Service to adjust to the digital age without ending Saturday mail delivery,” Sanders says.