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Government Accountability Office: Postal Service can’t cut Saturday delivery

The U.S. Postal Service doesn’t have the legal authority to cut Saturday mail delivery as Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe has said it will do starting in August, the Government Accountability Office said yesterday.

The service is bound by law to deliver mail six days a week, and it is incorrect in interpreting that the temporary measure used to fund U.S. government operations released it from that requirement, the office said in a letter to Rep. Gerald Connolly, a Virginia Democrat, who requested that the watchdog agency look at the matter.

The plan to cut delivery of letter mail while retaining package delivery on Saturdays “rests upon a faulty USPS premise,” General Counsel Susan Poling of the accountability office said in the letter.

The service, after losing $15.9 billion last year and reaching its legal borrowing limit, said last month it plans to eliminate a day of mail delivery to save about $2 billion a year.

David Partenheimer, a Postal Service spokesman, had no immediate comment.

“This impartial and definitive GAO legal opinion makes it crystal clear that USPS cannot operate outside the legislative authority of Congress and unilaterally implement a change in delivery service that many believe will not only disrupt mail service, but also exacerbate USPS revenue losses and contribute to the decline of this constitutionally-mandated service to all Americans,” Connolly said in a statement.

Legacy Comments3

I disagree earthling. The postal service gets a huge amount of their survival revenue from advertising, promotions, etc. I feel if you raise the rate for junk mail you will have less advertisers, charities, etc use it. I hate the junk mail also. I recycle it. But the fact is without it, the postal service will have very little revenue coming in at all.

It seems to me that the USPS might need a balanced and more simplified approach, now that the corporations have run most all of the mom and pop stores out of business where the post offices used to be. I wonder how much extra they spent last year on advertising, big trucks and planes, and fuel to distribute junk mail all over the place, only to go $15.9B into the hole last year. Cut spending (like Republicans constantly chant) on all that waste of paper by applying the first class rate to junk mail. Cut spending again by delivering the mail only 3 days per week. Cut spending again by getting the USPS ads off the TV. Cut spending again by closing (and selling) some of the post offices - there are 3 post offices within 5 miles of my house. Then raise the first class rate to $1.00, if necessary, to balance the USPS budget.

It would be fine with me if the USPS only delivered mail on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I also think the first class postage rate should apply to all the junk mail waste of paper that I have to transport to the transfer station.

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