The United States Postal Service (USPS) has announced they intend to eliminate Saturday delivery for first class mail beginning in August, and North Country Congressman Bill Owens doesn’t like the idea.
“It’s well known that the Postal Service has a budget problem, but leadership within the organization has failed in its duty to grow and seek out new opportunities to raise revenue, instead turning to rural areas for service cuts that do little to solve the problem. This is an irresponsible approach to management and one that I oppose,” said Owens, a Plattsburgh Democrat whose 21st Congressional District spans northern New York from his home city to Watertown.
Owens said the Postal Service should take aggressive action to raise the revenue they need but not “unfairly burdening rural areas with service cuts,” a statement from his office said.
Congressman Owens noted that a Jan. 22 New York Times article, “Postal Service Losing Out on Federal Contracts,” noted USPS’s failure to pursue long-term contracts with the government, instead allowing private entities like Federal Express and UPS to edge them out.
Owens also said that the majority 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 to address the gaps.
“There is no question we must address to Postal Service’s budget shortfall, but cutting services that families in rural areas depend on is not the answer,” Owens said.
Owens said that he is drafting a letter to Postmaster General Donahue on their inability to find new revenue.