USPS postal service reform

Although the United States Postal Service has been facing some financial difficulties, it appears the agency will maintain six-day delivery.

U.S. Rep. Jose E. Serrano, (D-NY), along with U.S. Rep. Tom Latham, (R-IA), sponsored an amendment to the fiscal year 2015 Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill, which adds language to the bill requiring the USPS to keep Saturday delivery intact.

The amendment was passed by voice vote, and now hinges on an official House vote.

The USPS has said it could save $2 billion by ending Saturday delivery. A USPS district manager explained that the organization ended the first quarter of the 2014 fiscal year alone with a net loss of $354 million.

Supporters of the amendment, however, argued for six-day delivery, citing job loss and hurting elderly and rural postal customers as well as small businesses—in short, it would be “penny wise and a pound foolish,” as Rep. Serrano said in a statement.

“There is no indication that getting rid of (six) day delivery will somehow allow the Postal Service to return to sustainability,” he said. “In fact, previous estimates indicate that getting rid of six-day delivery would actually result in a loss of revenue that outweighs projected savings.”

Regardless, the USPS is still trying to cut costs following years of declining mail use, in part, because of the rise of the internet. Recently, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe announced that as many as 82 mail processing facilities will be closed in 2015. But it will impact more than 15,000 employees, who may face either layoffs or reassignment.  

The Postal Service has recorded substantial losses over the last three years and continues to see steep declines in First-Class Mail volume and revenue,” he has said, according to reports. “As a result, we find ourselves with excess capacity in the network and few alternatives to reduce costs. Our operating costs are continuing to increase, and our debt and other liabilities threaten our financial viability.”

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