Virginia Congressman Gerry Connolly was joined by more than 100 members of Congress in calling on Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to maintain robust mail service, including 6-day delivery and rural post offices, and develop a transformational 21st Century business model for the USPS. Republican Don Young of Alaska joined Connolly in circulating the letter.
â€œLegislation proposed in Congress, specifically H.R. 2309, presents a false choice to the American public,â€ said Connolly. â€œGiving up six day mail service, closing rural post offices, and ending next day mail service will forfeit USPSâ€™ competitive advantage, and would accelerate the decline of the Postal Service.â€
â€œRather than pass legislation which dismantles the Postal Service, Congress must be a partner in building a postal business model for the 21st Century,â€ said Connolly. â€œBy allowing the Postal Service to innovate and relieving the retirement prefunding obligation imposed by Congress in 2006 we can protect the infrastructure of a $1 trillion mailing industry while maintaining universal service for all Americansâ€”rural, suburban, and urban.â€
Connolly and Youngâ€™s letter suggests alternatives to legislative proposals that cut mail delivery from six days to five, eliminate 3,600 or more rural post offices, end next day mail service, and stop 90% of door-to-door mail delivery. The letter highlights the devastating effects H.R. 2309 would have on the Postal Service, including lost revenue and cuts in service. Connolly and Young suggest there are alternatives, such as restructuring the $5.5 billion annual Retirement Health Benefit prefunding requirement, refunding USPS overpayments into FERS, and permitting USPS to adopt new business practices that would allow USPS to forgo these drastic cuts in service. In contrast to HR 2309, bipartisan Senate legislation reschedules retirement health benefits payments to protect USPS solvency and allows the Postal Service to innovate and earn new revenue.
Connolly and Young said they look forward to working with congressional leaders to build a Postal Service business model for the future which closes the current gap in funding while continuing robust mail service to all areas of the nation.