The United States Postal Service (USPS) today announced they intend to eliminate Saturday delivery for first class mail beginning in August of 2013. Congressman Bill Owens blasted the decision, calling on the Postal Service to take aggressive actions to raise revenue while not unfairly burdening rural areas with service cuts.
"I strongly disagree with the Postal Service's outrageous decision to end Saturday delivery," said Congressman Bill Owens. "It's well known that the Postal Service has a budget problem, but leadership within the organization has failed in its duty to grow and seek out new opportunities to raise revenue, instead turning to rural areas for service cuts that do little to solve the problem. This is an irresponsible approach to management and one that I oppose."
Congressman Owens cited a January 22nd New York Times article, "Postal Service Losing Out on Federal Contracts," noting USPS's failure to pursue long-term contracts with the government, instead allowing private entities like Federal Express and UPS to edge them out. The Congressman also noted that the majority of the Postal Service's budget shortfall is attributable to a pre-funding requirement, initiated by Congress in 2006, for employee health benefits, in addition to overpayments USPS made to employee pensions. The Congressman co-sponsored legislation in the 112th Congress (H.R. 1351, H.R. 3591) to address these gaps.
"There is no question we must address to Postal Service's budget shortfall, but cutting services that families in rural areas depend on is not the answer," Owens said.
Congressman Owens noted that he is currently drafting a letter to Postmaster General Donahue regarding their inability to find new revenue.