Dr. Boozman's Check-up

The U.S. Postal Service backed away from its plans to eliminate Saturday mail delivery. This is good news for rural Arkansans, senior citizens and businesses who rely on the postal service to deliver the goods they need to succeed. 

Legislation approved in March included a mandate to continue six-day delivery, something that Congress has annually approved since the 1980s. The USPS Board of Governors announced Wednesday it was left with no choice but to follow the rule. 

We must continue to help find a workable solution that helps the postal service continue its business while balancing its books. Last year the postal service lost nearly $16 billion. This is not an efficient way to run a business, but Congress has taken steps to help address these issues. 

In an effort to provide flexibility to the postal service, last year the Senate approved the 21st Century Postal Act. This bill also provided some safeguards for consumers. For instance, we prevented USPS from establishing a general, nationwide delivery schedule of five or fewer days for at least 24 months after the enactment of the legislation and requirement the postal service to ensure that any change it its delivery schedule will not result in more than two consecutive days without mail delivery. 

This legislation wasn’t approved by the House of Representatives. The postal service, forced to find ways to cut costs, chose to do so at the expense of customers by ending Saturday delivery. However, the Government Accountability Office recently indicated that USPS does not have the authority to end six-day delivery without Congressional approval. The postal service, understanding that approval for that misguided idea wouldn’t be coming any time soon, has now backed off its threat to end Saturday delivery.