The continuing budget resolution approved in the House of Representatives last week included a provision requiring the United States Postal Service (USPS) to maintain Saturday mail delivery, which Rep. Bill Owens supported.
“I have long said that the Postal Service can find ways to cut costs that don’t impact the services that families and businesses depend on,” the 21st District Democrat said.
“Requiring the continuation of Saturday delivery is entirely appropriate as we look for ways to responsibly cut federal spending in the months ahead.”
The continuing resolution, which, in lieu of real budget legislation, funds government operations through the end of September, passed the House on a bipartisan vote of 267-151 and goes to the Senate for their consideration.
Owens, whose district covers the North Country from Oswego to Plattsburgh, says he has consistently supported measures to cut spending and raise revenue at the Postal Service without impacting operations. In February, Owens wrote to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe to encourage a more aggressive approach to generating revenue. Owens’ letter also asked that the Postal Service again consider the effect that service cuts have on rural areas. The New York Congressional Delegation, including Congressman Owens, recently sent their own letter to Donahoe in support of six-day delivery.
Much of the Postal Service’s budget shortfall is attributable to a pre-funding requirement, initiated by Congress in 2006, for employee health benefits, in addition to overpayments USPS made to employee pensions. Owens co-sponsored legislation in the 112th Congress (H.R. 1351, H.R. 3591) to address these gaps.
“Smart cuts, good management and a balanced approach will clear the path towards fiscal health, whether we’re talking about the Postal Service or the federal budget,” Owens said. “As we continue this process, it is my hope that the parties come together to do exactly that.”