U.S. Senator Mark Pryor today grilled Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe during a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing about the USPS's proposal to eliminate Saturday mail delivery.
"There's no question that the Postal Service is facing serious financial challenges, and I'm committed to working with my colleagues to find a long-term solution," Pryor said. "That being said, I'm concerned that switching to 5-day delivery will be detrimental to Arkansas's rural communities who depend on the USPS for medications, checks, and other important services."
Earlier in February, the USPS announced plans to transition to a new 5-day mail delivery schedule. During the hearing, Pryor questioned whether the USPS had authority to enact this plan without authorization from Congress. According to Pryor, the proposal fails to comply with the existing requirement that requires the USPS to continue 6-day delivery and rural delivery mail services at no less than the 1983 levels.
"As I've said before, I believe the USPS's plan is in violation of existing laws and our current funding bills," Pryor said. "After repeated requests from the committee, the Postmaster General has finally provided the legal rationale for this plan, and I look forward to reviewing it and finding out more."
In April 2012, the Senate passed a bipartisan postal reform bill that prohibited the Postal Service from eliminating Saturday delivery for at least two years. The U.S. House of Representatives did not bring this bill to the floor.