Can the Postal Service end Saturday delivery without congressional approval?
In the wake of yesterday’s news that the Postal Service plans to end Saturday delivery in August, Bloomberg TV asked Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe an important question: “Are you thumbing your nose at Congress?”
Donahoe of course said he wasn’t. But for an agency that is now asserting it doesn’t need congressional approval to drop Saturday mail delivery, the Postal Service sure thought it needed their approval in the past.
Below, we’ve included a few quotes from USPS officials, going back to 2010, where they’ve asserted that Congress needs to approve any changes to delivery schedules. Makes you wonder how – all of a sudden – the postmaster general has found a way for USPS to do this on its own, especially given that six-day delivery is still part of the law.
“The Postal Service is fully aware that before a change in the number of delivery days could be adopted, legislative action would be required by Congress to amend the appropriations language that mandates six-day a week delivery.”
– Statement by USPS Postmaster General John E. Potter before the Senate Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, March 18, 2010
“Any change in the number of delivery days will require Congress to eliminate the appropriations language that mandates six-day-a-week delivery.”
– Statement by Postmaster General John E. Potter before the Senate Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services, and International Security, April 22, 2010
“One of the most urgently needed actions is the ability to adjust delivery frequency. If Congress gave the Postal Service this authority, we could move to a five-day a week model, as one example, and realize annual savings of $3.1 billion.”
– Statement of USPS Vice President of Network Operations David E. Williams before the House Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, the Postal Service and Labor Policy, June 15, 2011
“Portions of the Plan to Profitability require targeted legislative changes. These changes represent annual cost reductions that will return the Postal Service to profitability. Strategies that require enactment of legislation include the ability of the Postal Service plan to transition to a five-day per week delivery model.”
– Statement of Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe before the House Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and Labor Policy, March 27, 2012