SCHULTZ: Tonight`s question: will Republicans succeed in killing the Post
Office? Text A for yes, text B for now. We`ve got a new number there for
you, folks. It`s 67622.
You can always go to our blog at Ed.MSNBC.com. We`ll bring you the
results later on in the show.
I am joined by Congressman Gerald Connolly of Virginia.
And Audrey Humes joins us tonight. She is a letter carrier and former
president of the Missouri Rural Letter Carriers.
Great to have both of you with us tonight.
REP. GERALD CONNOLLY (D), VIRGINIA: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, I know you have worked hard on this. Will the
service reduction actually happen, or can you reverse it?
CONNOLLY: I believe we can reverse it, and on two grounds, Ed. You
want outrage? I`ll give you outrage. There are a lot of outraged.
The postmaster general does not have the constitutional or the
statutory authority to make this decision. And we`re going to see that he
is challenged on constitutional grounds.
I`ve written to him today demanding an explanation legally for on what
grounds he cites he has this authority. Remember that the Postal Service
is the only service actually stipulated by the Constitution of the United
States. This isn`t just any service or any line of business.
Secondly, I want to see the analysis that shows the net savings by
this action. The postmaster general and lots of other conventional wisdom
thinkers in this town love to cite -- well, it will save $2 billion. But
what is the cost of lost revenue, lost business that will follow from this
CONNOLLY: They did their own study last year and they deep-sixed it
because it showed inconveniently that a 7 percent reduction in first class
volume leads to a $5 billion loss in revenue.
So I`m not sure this will actually save any money, and will further
accelerate the decline of the Postal Service.
SCHULTZ: Audrey, who is this going to hurt rural America? How is it
going to hurt customers?
AUDREY HUMES, USPS LETTER CARRIER: Well, most of our American
families and especially our rural communities rely on Saturday delivery.
Many rural communities get their prescription medications, their financial
papers and other transactions in the mail.
Our businesses rely on Saturday pickup to get their invoices and their
materials out in the mail. Our rural community.
SCHULTZ: Audrey, has Washington ignored the calls of the workers
HUMES: Oh, yes, indeed. I agree wholeheartedly with Representative
Our union has again to Capitol Hill and we have talked to our
representatives and told them just how much this is going to affect the
American working class people. As he said, we have many veterans. We have
families that depend on the Postal Service, you know. There is also many
other items other than just delivering the mail.
SCHULTZ: No doubt.
HUMES: There is many businesses that rely on the mail also.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, where is the effort to just erase this law and
CONNOLLY: Well, I think that the Senate passed a bipartisan bill that
went in some direction to do just that. You mentioned Darrell Issa. On
our committee, Darrell Issa prevented every single Democratic amendment
that was designed to try to address the issues you correctly raised --
CONNOLLY: -- in the 2006 legislation.
What`s so monstrous about this, Ed, and you got it is they created
this crisis in that lame duck legislation of the Republican Congress in
2006, and now they say, well, there is a crisis we created, and there is no
choice but these horrible decisions that will further kill a viable and
vibrant Postal Service.
SCHULTZ: And, Audrey, if Congress doesn`t reverse this, there could
be a day when it could be two or three days a week delivery, and then no
delivery. I mean, that`s where this is going. This is -- the Republicans
are trying to starve the United States Postal Service. Or is that a bridge
What do you think?
HUMES: Oh, no, most certainly I agree with you. You know, this
should be the time hen the Postal Service should be expanding their
business to reach out to the middle class and to small businesses to make
their business succeed. You know, this standard of service is an American
tradition that so many American families especially our rural communities
SCHULTZ: It is in the Constitution. There is no doubt about that.
HUMES: And also it is in the Constitution, correct. Correct.
SCHULTZ: Congressman Gerald Connolly and Audrey Humes, I appreciate
you`re time tonight.
CONNOLLY: A great pleasure, Ed.