June 25, 2014—Language mandating six-day mail delivery—intentionally left out of the draft version of the House Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government’s Fiscal Year 2015 spending bill—was successfully reinserted into the measure that was approved on Wednesday by a voice vote of the full House Appropriations committee.
“This is a clear victory for letter carriers and other supporters of a strong Postal Service,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “We’re grateful to Reps. José Serrano (D-NY) and Tom Latham (R-IA) for their bipartisan effort to make sure this language is once again part of this legislation, just as it has been for more than three decades.
“On behalf of the 270,000 active and retired members of the NALC, I thank all of our activists who urged their congressional representatives to support the Serrano-Latham amendment,” Rolando said.
For letter carriers, this has been a pretty good week on Capitol Hill.
On Tuesday, the Senate Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government approved its version of an FY2015 appropriations bill that also includes the language mandating that the Postal Service deliver the mail six days a week. That measure is expected to pass the full Senate Appropriations Committee.
Also on Tuesday, the bipartisan majority of House members who support H. Res. 30 grew to 224 when Rep. David Price (R-NC) signed on as a co-sponsor. H. Res. 30 is a resolution “expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States Postal Service should take all appropriate measures to ensure the continuation of its 6-day mail delivery service.”
And NALC has learned that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) this week took another look at the Postal Service’s alleged savings from a reduction in mail service from six days to five and declared that USPS would save only about $10.9 billion over 10 years—about half of what the Postal Service projected would be saved by its modified plan.
Of course, the CBO accepted the Postal Service’s dubious claim that eliminating Saturday delivery would not have a large effect on its revenues and volumed, while NALC is convinced that ending six-day service would lose more money than it might save.
“It should be obvious to everyone by now that ending Saturday delivery and degrading the postal network would do nothing to solve the real financial problem the Postal Service faces,” Rolando said, referring to the congressional mandate that the Postal Service, alone among all public agencies and private companies, pre-fund future retiree health benefits for decades into the future, a requirement that is 100 percent responsible for the Postal Service’s so-called “losses.”
Eliminating Saturday mail also would make no sense, Rolando said, “because it would stop the postal turnaround in its tracks by driving mail—and revenue—out of the system, hurting the residential and business customers who rely on Saturday delivery.
“Further, postal finances continue to steadily improve as the economy recovers from the worst recession in 80 years and as increasing online shopping sends package revenues ever higher,” he said.
So far this year, the Postal Service has reported a $1 billion profit excluding the cost of pre-funding.
“We join the other postal unions and a broad, bipartisan coalition of postal stakeholders to continue our call on Congress to come up with a postal bill that’s designed to maintain and strengthen the Postal Service,” Rolando said, “a Constitution-based agency that provides Americans with the world’s most affordable delivery network without a dime of taxpayer money.”
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