Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe lacks the constitutional and statutory authority to unilaterally implement his announced plan to eliminate Saturday mail delivery to tens of millions of American homes and businesses, Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) said Wednesday.
In a sternly-worded letter to Donahoe sent hours after the postmaster general announced that the U.S. Postal Service plans to end Saturday mail delivery starting in August, Connolly requested that USPS provide legal justification and documentation for the proposed action. The Virginia congressman made the same request to Attorney General Eric Holder and Postal Regulatory Commission Chairman Ruth Goldway.
"Logic dictates that when USPS and the Administration repeatedly request that Congress explicitly provide USPS the authority to reduce mail service from six days to five days, it is clear acknowledgement that, absent Congressional action, USPS lacks the statutory authority to do so," Connolly said in his letter. For nearly three decades, Congress has repeatedly passed legislation prohibiting USPS from administratively transitioning to a five-day delivery mail schedule.
Connolly said that six-day mail delivery "remains a critical strength and competitive advantage for USPS that will enable it to grow business and bolster revenue in the long run." He warned that accelerating a decline in mail volume could result in additional revenue losses and wipe out any operational cost savings, citing a 2012 confidential study commissioned by USPS showing that a 7.7 percent reduction in mail volume would lead to a revenue loss of $5.2 billion in the first year alone.