Sanders to Postmaster General: Postal service must keep Saturday mail

NEWS RELEASE — Sen. Bernie Sanders
March 26, 2013

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Michael Briggs (202) 224-5141

BURLINGTON, Vt., March 26 – Citing a legal opinion by the Government Accountability Office, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today called on Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe to withdraw his plan to stop Saturday mail delivery.

Sanders said the opinion by the non-partisan GAO unambiguously declared that the Postal Service has no legal authority to end Saturday mail without the approval of Congress. In fact, Congress just last week passed a bill that restated the requirement for the Postal Service to maintain Saturday mail delivery.

Sanders called on the postmaster general to formally withdraw his plan to eliminate Saturday mail beginning on Aug. 1. “I am urging you to make it clear to the American people that the USPS will continue Saturday mail delivery in adherence with the law,” Sanders said in a letter.

The major reason for the Postal Service’s financial woes, Sanders stressed, is a congressional mandate to pre-fund 75 years of future retiree health benefits over a 10-year period. “No other government agency, no other corporation in America is burdened with this mandate,” Sanders said. “This pre-funding mandate is responsible for about 80 percent of the Postal Service’s financial losses since 2007.”

Before this pre-funding mandate was signed into law by President George W. Bush, the Postal Service was making a profit. In fact, from 2003 through 2006, the Postal Service made a combined profit of more than $9 billion. “I look forward to working with you to end this onerous mandate once and for all which would keep the Postal Service healthy and thriving for years to come,” Sanders told the postmaster general.

Sanders also said he looks forward to working with Donahoe to lift legal restrictions that now keep the Postal Service from offering new and innovative products and services. “It is clear to me and to many others that there are significant opportunities for increased revenue for the USPS, if given the opportunity to aggressively compete in the marketplace,” Sanders said.

To read the letter, click here.

 

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5 Comments on "Sanders to Postmaster General: Postal service must keep Saturday mail"

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Michael Holman
3 years 4 months ago
Really? Senator, the USPS made money from 2003 through 2006 because mail volume was a lot higher than we see today. Sure, the prefunding requirement hurt but even without it, the postal service would still be losing money today. As a carrier, I’ve seen the drop and it’s not insignificant. The change is structural, not cyclical. People use email far more than they used to for their communication needs. First class mail volumes will not be coming back and first class mail is what made the postal service a money making enterprise. If congress would just get out of the… Read more »
raul makisig
3 years 4 months ago

5-days delivery all the way!

thomas Burns
3 years 4 months ago
give them hell Bernie, the customers i deliver to want Saturday delivery, mostly the businesses. The U.S.P.S. has lost 1st class mail volume however the amount of packages we deliver has more than tripled. congress saddled us with the prefunding mandate, it also saddled us to over pay our pensions ( last audits between 50-80 BILLION $$$) If we trimmed the fat in (mis) management and were able to compete, as apposed to delivering ups and fed ex packages, we would be flush with cash. People need to know that the U.S.P.S has spent BILLIONS on automation that does not… Read more »
Christian Noll
3 years 3 months ago
“Who are you gonna trust more a Union letter carrier or someone getting paid a bowl of rice a day to keep your info private, safe and secure.” As a FedEx Express courier I’m not in a union and get paid much less for it. Maybe its just me, but I wouldn’t associate my lesser pay from my privately owned employer with a “Bowl of rice.” FedEx Express couriers work just as hard as their UPS and USPS counterparts and to suggest I’m providing less of a service, or that I’m less trustworthy because I’m not in a union, is… Read more »
3 years 3 months ago
THANK YOU, Senator Sanders!!! Your letter to the PMG is concise and to the point. You truly have a grasp on the current situation with the USPS, unlike many of your collegues in Congress. The PMG, understandably, is resisting defeat. This was not his first attempt at eliminating Saturday delivery and having “egg-on-his-face” yet again, he must be finding this hard to deal with. However, you’re right in requesting he issue a statement confirming the USPS will maintain 6-Day delivery. The employess of the USPS need some assurance about their future employment status as well. If the PMG is refusing… Read more »
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