Later this week, Congress will consider a proposal backed by the president to eliminate Saturday mail delivery by the United States Postal Service.
Although the move is controversial, many see reduction in mail delivery as the only viable way to keep the USPS afloat. The Obama administration stopped short of the Postal Service’s request to lay off more workers- 100,000 have already been added to the growing numbers of jobless Americans- in the wake of a 22% reduction in mail volume since 2006, primarily in first-class mail.
The issue has been divisive, with Republicans and Democrats squaring off on what Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) calls a “bailout” for the ailing service. Issa contends postal service restructuring will cost taxpayers, but at current, the service does not operate on tax dollars.
Representative Tom Carper (D-DE) was one of the lawmakers who supported Obama’s proposal to scale back on delivery as well as have the government repay monies paid by the service into federal retirement fund coffers:
“I have been saying for some time now that Congress and the administration need to come together on a plan that can save the Postal Service and protect the more than 7 million jobs that rely on it,” he said in a statement.
According to the White House, the measures proposed recently by President Obama will save the USPS $18 billion in the next couple of years in operating costs, giving it a better shot at fending off losses incurred largely in part to a larger reliance in the general public on internet communications.