Reps. Jim Moran, Gerry Connolly Blast Post Office Decision to Suspend Saturday Service

Connolly writes letter to Postmaster General, asking for legal justification; cites study that says reducing mail volume will lead to revenue loss of $5.2 billion in first year.

Stopping the mail on Saturdays? Not so fast, say two members of the Northern Virginia congressional delegation.

Northern Virginia's U.S. Rep. James Moran (D-8th) and U.S. Rep Gerald Connolly (D-11th) expressed concern Wednesday about the U.S. Postal Service's announcement that it plans to suspend delivery of first-class mail service on Saturdays beginning in August. The USPS released a fact sheet Wednesday.

“I have great concerns about eliminating Saturday mail delivery," Moran wrote in an email to Patch. "The Postal Service is grappling with major forces outside of its control: an economy increasingly relying on email and the Internet for communication, and a Congress that refuses to address the redundant pension pre-funding requirement."

"Both forces are driving a well functioning system into the red — only one can be fixed in the short run," said Moran, who represents Alexandria, Arlington and parts of Fairfax County. "Congress can and should drop the pre-funding requirement so that we can forestall drastic measures for as long as possible, giving the Postal Service more time to adapt to the changing economy.”

Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-11th) is taking action. Connolly, who represents Fairfax City and parts of Fairfax and Prince William counties, said that Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe "lacks the constitutional and statutory authority to unilaterally implement his announced plan to eliminate Saturday mail delivery to tens of millions of American homes and businesses."

In a sternly worded letter to Donahoe, sent hours after the postmaster general announced that the U.S. Postal Service plans to end Saturday mail delivery starting in August, Connolly requested that USPS provide legal justification and documentation for the proposed action. The Virginia congressman made the same request to Attorney General Eric Holder and Postal Regulatory Commission Chairman Ruth Goldway.

“Logic dictates that when USPS and the Administration repeatedly request that Congress explicitly provide USPS the authority to reduce mail service from six days to five days, it is clear acknowledgement that, absent Congressional action, USPS lacks the statutory authority to do so,” Connolly said in his letter. 

The letter includes the signature of Republican Congressman Sam Graves.

For nearly three decades, Congress has repeatedly passed legislation prohibiting USPS from administratively transitioning to a five-day delivery mail schedule.

Connolly said that six-day mail delivery “remains a critical strength and competitive advantage for USPS that will enable it to grow business and bolster revenue in the long run.”  He warned that accelerating a decline in mail volume could result in additional revenue losses and wipe out any operational cost savings, citing a 2012 confidential study commissioned by USPS showing that a 7.7 percent reduction in mail volume would lead to a revenue loss of $5.2 billion in the first year alone.

Chuck February 07, 2013 at 11:30 AM
These two are idiots
TJW February 07, 2013 at 11:36 AM
The ultimate irony..........Congressman Moran made these comments via email. How freaking long does the USPS need to react to the new economy of email and internet?? We aren't talking about cutting edge technology. How can Mr. Moran refer to an entity that lost $16 BILLION dollars last year as a "well functioning system". More proof of just how clueless our elected leaders are!
Jack Colgan February 07, 2013 at 02:01 PM
I agree with TJW and Chuck. How do jerks like these people get elected. I must have missed the part about about congressman Moran making these coments via email but he is a jerk anyway.
Jason February 07, 2013 at 02:05 PM
We need to balance the budget but we won't let this part do just that. Bunch of hypocrites. Wake up it is a business and needs to adapt to make it.
Nazaretti February 07, 2013 at 02:26 PM
How is six-day delivery a "competitive advantage", when e-mail is 24/7 and UPS and FedEx also offer Saturday delivery? The Post Office is much, much less expensive than UPS or FedEx for my package delivery - that is a competitive advantage.
Joe February 07, 2013 at 02:37 PM
These 2 are union reps, trying to milk everything they can out of the postal service... It's a money maker for them (union leaders) No other company on the planet has almost $100 billion in retirement funds set aside for employees who aren't even born yet!
Scott February 07, 2013 at 02:48 PM
USPS don't use our tax money but they are regulated by the government, how foolish. They need to go one way or the other in order to succeed in this e-conomy. Cutting service will damage the US. economy and place burdens on people who are using the system the most.
David Gebhardt February 07, 2013 at 02:57 PM
Pre-funding is the issue. That would almost be like pre paying for our next war. At least they could change the rate at which the postal system retirement fund is charged.
Jeremiah February 07, 2013 at 02:57 PM
Fedex and UPS piggyback off the postal service. You send your package 2 blocks down the street and UPS will put a tracking sticker on it and ship it USPS because the cost is much less. If USPS increase the postage cost than more people will use internet/email anyways.
S0UTS McSouts February 07, 2013 at 03:02 PM
How about these two figure out how to raise USPS revenue? These representatives should be applauding the cost cutting measures. When was the last time anyone was happy with the service at a Post Office? The government subsidizes the enterprise, has no meaningful performance measures in place to reward excellent, service oriented employees and the government is surprised when FedEx, UPS, and others grab market share? The funniest thing to me is that Congressman Connolly is telling a Federal Agency who cannot pay their bills that they do not have the authority to implement cost cutting measures. I wounder how Americans can be outraged at the current state of our finances when this sort of stupidity is staring us in the face every day: I imagine these two on a conference call to the Postmaster General: "You cost the taxpayers billions of dollars every year and by-golly if you try to dig yourself out of that hole we are going to do everything in our power to stand in your way because my constituents need those Papa John's and Bed Bath and Beyond coupons on Saturdays too." The only competitive advantage that the USPS has is that it is subsidized by the US Government. THAT'S IT. Take that away and the USPS would have been bankrupt, liquidated, and long forgotten decades ago.
laurent February 07, 2013 at 03:24 PM
lack of imagination. why not add electronic signing as a product to the usps. people are looking for an authoritative source for electronic exchanges, sounds like the usps could be a perfect instrument for it. ideas is what we need, not status quo.
Scot February 07, 2013 at 03:29 PM
I totally agree with the Reps. We should continue to borrow money from the Chinese and others so that I can get my mailpack circulars on Saturdays. Just the other Saturday I didn't have anything to do until my local mailman arrived. I then spent the rest of my day analyzing various paper coupon for an early-bird special at an inconveniently-located and undesirable local restaurant. This is just an incredibly difficult choice for us to make as a country and I can't believe that we have the perseverence to pull it off. I mean, what's next? Can we, as Americans, actually eliminate the important Saturday mail delivery? After all that we've been through as a nation with the elimination of the Yellow Pages, 8 track tapes, the Washington Post, book stores, and the Twinkie? Aren't there any more "rich people" we can tax to bring back this service?
Mike Persico February 07, 2013 at 03:35 PM
If I remember correctly we're talking about junk mail and letters wouldn't be delivered on Saturday. You will still have medications & packages would delivered and because the volume is low, Saturday deliveries for meds and packages should be before noon. I can wait until Monday to get whatever is mailed to me instead of Saturday. Congressmen Connolly and Moran should be applauding USPS for taking measures instead of crying foul about the law. Dumbass politician's and the insane laws they sponsor and pass are the problems that have put us in this financial mess.
Scott February 07, 2013 at 04:09 PM
Hey, come to think of it I've never tried mailing small business letters without a Postal service. Wonder who else I could use and how much it would cost? humm
Ann Dorman February 07, 2013 at 04:36 PM
For heaven sakes, it is just Saturday. Who can't get along with only five days of junk coming via USPS? It is about time this happened!
Darren Franz February 07, 2013 at 05:30 PM
Most of you are misinformed. The USPS receives zero tax dollars! Not subsidized! In fact they are the only government agency that pays its own way. They are fast and extremely efficient! PM Donohoe should be replaced!
Doug February 07, 2013 at 07:14 PM
Moran thinks that the internet is a fad and will go away soon, at which point hopefully the USPS will have figured out how to "adapt".
sam bennett February 07, 2013 at 07:31 PM
Aint nobody got time for all that!
Tincup February 07, 2013 at 07:40 PM
The USPS does get some taxpayer support.Around $96 million is budgeted annually by Congress for the "Postal Service Fund." These funds are used to compensate USPS for postage free govt mailings. But what has really contributed to the decline of one of America's oldest institutions is not just its failure to respond to market place competition but its paralyzing contractual agreements with--you guessed it-- labor unions. Labor costs represent 80% of USPS expenses (as opposed to UPS' 53% and FedEx 32 %) . That includes no layoff clause!
NoBS February 07, 2013 at 08:57 PM
Not many people will miss Saturday mail, especially in urban areas, but one possibility would be to make post offices stay open until 5 on Saturdays so if someone really wanted their mail, they could go pick it up. That might only be necessary in rural areas, where people depend on mail more that urban areas.
Stephen St. John February 07, 2013 at 09:05 PM
How is it that both gentlemen from Congress don't embrace cutting waste? Does delivering mail to tens of millions of businesses across America that are closed on Saturday's make sense to you? And my weekend would be much nicer, if I didn't get any bills delivered on Saturday's. Let's go with Monday - Friday!
nancy young February 07, 2013 at 09:08 PM
They have talked about cutting Saturday mail for over a year what took these two gum drops until now to speak up and say no? Are they going to miss the sale flyers?
Doug February 07, 2013 at 11:33 PM
Because if they did it two years ago when it wasn't a popular issue in the media they wouldn't have gotten any press about it. Politicians are like vultures who prey on hot stories in the media. Big press = vultures swarming overhead.
Erik Kengaard February 08, 2013 at 12:59 AM
Definitely (a jerk). But the people of Arlington keep him in office.
Erik Kengaard February 08, 2013 at 01:00 AM
Connolly, Moran - everyone gets the government some people deserve.


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