Andy Medici – July 15, 2015
In 2010 the Postal Service laid out a series of reforms it said were needed to cut billions of dollars from its operating costs and help the agency survive and thrive in a more digital future.
The biggest pitch: Ending Saturday delivery for letters, which the Postal Service had estimated would save about $3 billion annually.
But years later an improving financial landscape and a Congress continually deadlocked over Postal Service reform has led to a slow and quiet death for what was once seen as the linchpin of a revitalized Postal Service.
“While the topic of five-day delivery was a large part of the legislative ask in the last Congress, we are currently looking to gain consensus and we have not been promoting five day as a key tenet,” said Postal Service spokeswoman Sue Brennan.
She said the Postal Service still needs to find ways to increase revenues and optimize its networks while delivering fewer pieces of mail to more addresses.
Opposition to five-day delivery has always been high – and in the last few years it might have been enough to derail any reform effort geared toward cutting out Saturday letter delivery.
Rep. Sam Graves has co-sponsored a resolution in the House along with Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-VA., that states the Postal Service should do whatever it can to preserve Saturday delivery. Introduced in January, the proposal now has 200 co-sponsors, and its proponent expect to reach 218 soon – a majority in the House.
Graves said members of both parties have overwhelmingly shown they oppose the push to eliminate Saturday delivery, and that lawmaker support for the resolution is encouraging.
“While we need to keep our eyes open to proposals like these going forward, the message has been received that Congress will not tolerate the USPS moving away from 6-day delivery,” Graves said.