As a member of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich today questioned Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe on whether the Postal Service will keep its commitment to rural post offices and the Bypass Mail program. Begich has recently expressed disappointment with the Postal Service after they announced last week they would circumvent Congress and eliminate Saturday delivery.
Sen. Begich received the Postmaster General's renewed commitment that last week's announcement will not become a pattern of cutting crucial services outside of the legislative process.
"I understand the Postal Service faces serious financial challenges, but it will not be able to evolve by making piecemeal cuts to Saturday delivery or any other service important to rural areas. We need comprehensive postal reform legislation as soon as possible that protects these services while giving the Postal Service the flexibility to modernize," Begich said.
"While I appreciate the Postmaster General's assurances, at this point it's frankly difficult to take him at his word. The decision to end Saturday delivery undermined the public trust and set a dangerous precedent of making cuts without Congressional approval. Congress should come together and let the Postal Service know that any backdoor cuts to services are unacceptable."
Begich was pleased to hear Congressman Issa's positive comments on protecting Bypass Mail and will continue to work with him to protect Alaska's needs. Issa, who previously supported drastic cuts to Bypass Mail, visited Alaska last year following a request by Begich.