Congressman Tim Bishop urged the US Postal Service to reconsider its proposal to end six-day delivery of mail beginning in August of this year, citing the impact on senior citizens and workers who rely on Saturday delivery for timely receipt of medicines, paychecks, and other important items.
"My constituents have spoken clearly that ending Saturday delivery would be more than an inconvenience, it could potentially be dangerous," Congressman Bishop said. "I urge the Postal Service in the strongest terms to think of their customers, including small businesses, the elderly and disabled, rural communities and others who depend on Saturday delivery.
Bishop is a cosponsor of a bipartisan resolution (H.Res. 30) expressing the sense of the House of Representatives "that the United States Postal Service should take all appropriate measures to ensure the continuation of its 6-day mail delivery service."
The resolution notes that the USPS has delivered on Saturday for over a century, and that: "reducing mail delivery service to 5 days a week would inevitably cause not only delays in the delivery of mail, but higher postal costs, due to the many hours of additional overtime that the Postal Service would require in order to handle the resulting back-up of mail."
Bishop said that Congress must act to relieve the USPS of an obligation instituted by the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act to pre-fund future retiree's health benefits at a cost of approximately $5.6 billion per year over a ten year period. In the previous session of Congress, Bishop cosponsored legislation that would correct an outdated calculating methodology used for the federal employees retirement system, achieving financial stability for the USPS without relying on taxpayer funds.
Bishop noted that since 1984, Congress has required the USPS to preserve six-day and rural delivery of mail as a provision of legislation making appropriations for the agency. Congress would have to eliminate the provision before USPS could end Saturday delivery.
"The services of the USPS, including six-day mail delivery, remain invaluable to millions of Americans. Congress should work to reduce the onerous burden of pre-funding retiree benefits to allow the agency to continue providing its customers the service they deserve," said Bishop.