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February 06, 2013

Key senator "disappointed" with Saturday mail decision

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., whose chairs the committees that oversees the post office, was not pleased Wednesday with the decision to suspend first class mail service on Saturday.

"I am disappointed by the Postal Service’s announcement today regarding its plans to transition to a five-day mail delivery schedule in August," said the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

"For nearly three decades, it has been the clear intent of Congress that the Postal Service provide most communities with six days of mail delivery. That said, I have long argued that Congress should reduce the number of service mandates it places on the Postal Service so that the Postmaster General and his team can more easily adjust operations to reflect the changing demand for the products and services they offer."

Carper recalled how he has co-authored bipartisan legislation, which the Senate approved last year,  that would have allowed the Postal Service to eliminate Saturday delivery within two years of enactment "provided that the new delivery schedule was truly necessary to help the Postal Service survive."

The bill would have also helped the Postal Service cut costs elsewhere and generate new revenue in an effort to preserve Saturday delivery for as long as possible.

"While I welcome the Postal Service’s intention to preserve Saturday package delivery under the proposal announced today, I would much prefer that any effort to move to a five-day mail delivery schedule occur in an orderly manner similar to the process the Senate approved last year," Carper said. 


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"Planet Washington" covers politics and government. It is written by journalists in McClatchy's Washington Bureau.

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