The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Lifestyles

February 6, 2013

U.S. Postal Service plans to end Saturday mail deliveries

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service plans to end Saturday mail delivery as soon as August to cut financial losses, a change Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said it can make without Congress's approval if necessary.

The service, which lost $15.9 billion last year, said it would continue six-day deliveries of packages, deliver mail to post-office boxes and keep open retail locations that now operate on Saturdays.

 The change would lead to the elimination of 22,500 full- time equivalent jobs and reduce costs by as much as $2 billion a year, Donahoe said. Job cuts can be made by attrition and buyouts, he said at a news conference in Washington.

"We need to generate nearly $20 billion in cost reductions and revenue increases to be able to close our budget gap and repay our debt," Donahoe said at the service's headquarters.

Lawmakers have stifled previous cost-cutting proposals, including efforts to end Saturday mail delivery.

Cutting Saturday delivery is allowed under Congress's continuing resolution funding government operations that expires March 27, Donahoe said.

 "It is our opinion with the way the law is set with the continuing resolution, we can make this change," he said.

House Speaker John Boehner said lawmakers need to have bipartisan conversations about the Postal Service's future and take action.

"Trying to act in this postal area is pretty difficult," the Ohio Republican told reporters Wednesday. "Congress has tied their hands every which way."

The post office's losses have continued to widen and are estimated at $25 million a day. Mail volume is down 26 percent from its 2006 peak. To pay bills and keep the mail moving, the postal service has had to skip $11.1 billion of required payments over the past two years for future retirees' health costs. It exhausted its $15 billion borrowing authority last September.

The service, which has 521,000 career employees, says it will run out of money in October even after ignoring this year's retiree health obligation. If it can't pay workers or buy fuel for trucks, Americans looking for their bills, magazines and catalogs could find empty mailboxes.

Rep. Darrell Issa, a California Republican who leads the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which oversees post office operations, backed Wednesday's proposal. Issa included elimination of Saturday delivery in a postal bill that didn't come to a vote in the House last year.

Issa and Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, his party's senior member on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, sent a letter to Congress calling the change to five-day delivery a "common-sense reform" that is "worthy of bipartisan support."

Sen. Tom Carper, a Delaware Democrat who heads the governmental affairs committee, said he's "disappointed" by the Postal Service's move. A Senate measure approved last year would have required the service to study Saturday delivery changes for two years and Carper said he'd prefer that route.

"Despite my disappointment, it's hard to condemn the Postmaster General for moving aggressively to do what he believes he can and must do to keep the lights on at the Postal Service, which may be only months away from insolvency," Carper said in a statement.

President Barack Obama's budget proposal for fiscal 2013, released last year, called for cutting one day of mail delivery each week.

Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers union, called the move "disastrous" and said Donahoe should resign or be ousted.

"If the Postmaster General is unwilling or unable to develop a smart growth strategy that serves the nearly 50 percent of business mailers that want to keep six-day service, and if he arrogantly thinks he is above the law or has the right to decide policy matters that should be left to Congress, it is time for him to step down," Rolando said in an emailed statement.

Americans, by an almost 4-1 majority, supported ending Saturday mail delivery in a 2011 national poll of registered voters by Quinnipiac University, in Hamden, Conn.

About 5 percent of the postal service's employees in January accepted a cost-cutting early retirement offer. The service says it has already cut about 60,000 full-time jobs in the past two years.

Donahoe, in a Jan. 3 statement, urged Congress to make postal legislation "an urgent priority."

"We are on an unsustainable financial path," Donahoe said. "The Postal Service should not have to do business this way."

               

 

 

1
Text Only
Lifestyles
  • Choral group marks 10th anniversary CLINTON -- A Clinton choral group will celebrate its 10th anniversary this weekend. RiverChor will celebrate the anniversary at 2 p.m. Sunday at Zion Lutheran Church. The concert is free, but donations will be accepted. A reception will be held in th

    April 21, 2014

  • Camanche to host citywide garage sales CAMANCHE -- St. Mark's United Methodist Church will organize citywide garage sales scheduled for May 2 and 3. Those wishing to participate and have their garage sale listed in the advertising may obtain forms at Clinton National Bank, Citizens First

    April 24, 2014

  • Bald eagles Britton to present on lead effects MAQUOKETA -- A National Wildlife Refuge manager will present a program on lead's effects on bald eagles. Ed Britton, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuge manager, will deliver the presentation at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 4, at Hurstville Interpretive Center in Ma

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Spring flea market is April 27 MAQUOKETA -- The annual Spring Flea Market, Antique, and Collectible Show will be Sunday, April 27, at the Jackson County Fairgrounds in Maquoketa. The show has been in existence for 27 years and is one of Iowa's largest shows with more than 150 sell

    April 24, 2014

  • Human trafficking Stickers highlight human trafficking CLINTON -- Area establishments are receiving added decor this week thanks to an anti-trafficking committee. Sisters of St. Francis Center for Active Nonviolence and Peacemaking Anti-Trafficking committee members are placing stickers in local establis

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cats outsmart the researchers

    I knew a lot had been written about dogs, and I assumed there must be at least a handful of studies on cats. But after weeks of scouring the scientific world for someone - anyone - who studied how cats think, all I was left with was this statement, laughed over the phone to me by one of the world's top animal cognition experts, a Hungarian scientist named Ádám Miklósi.

    April 22, 2014

  • Calling all munchkins CLINTON -- The Clinton Area Showboat Theatre is looking for munchkins. Local auditions will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, May 19, at the Showboat for munchkins in the upcoming "The Wizard of Oz" performance. Munchkins may be of any age as long as

    April 22, 2014

  • St. Paul grants Church awards grants

    CLINTON -- An area church recently awarded area organizations with grants. The Bickelhaupt Arboretum, the Felix Adler Children's Discovery Center, First Circle Friends, YWCA, Voices for the Land/Monarch Teacher Network and Haley Westerkamp were grant

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • On Iowa program selects Clinton residents CLINTON -- Four Clinton residents recently were named On Iowa student leaders. Keaton Fuller, Jacinta Jargo, Kenya Lewis and Allyson Naeve were among 235 people selected to serve as welcomers to new first-year and transfer students at the University

    April 22, 2014

  • Screen shot 2014-04-18 at 4.44.15 PM.png Paint, doodle and sketch: 3 apps for art lovers

    In the absence of a palette of watercolors and a sketchpad, these three apps can fill in as your art supplies of choice.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

Elections
Front page
Clinton Herald Photos


Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.

Poll

Should the city of Clinton appeal the open records violation ruling that will cost taxpayers $40,600?

Yes
No
     View Results
AP Video
Olympics 2014
Featured Comment
Featured Ads
Blue Zones Project
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.