Two Congressional Panels Support Six-Day Service
APWU Web News Article 074-2010, July 30, 2010
Two congressional panels voted on July 29 to approve spending bills that would require the Postal Service to continue to provide mail delivery six days per week. The two bills — one in the Senate and one in the House — still have a long way to go before they could become law, however.
“These are important steps, but we must clear many more hurdles in order to stop the Postal Service from eliminating Saturday delivery,” said APWU Legislative & Political Director Myke Reid. “The full Senate and House would have to approve the bills, and then the two versions would have to be reconciled to resolve any differences between them.” Spending bills are traditionally very difficult to pass, he said.
The Senate Appropriations Committee voted 18-12 to approve a spending bill for Fiscal Year 2011 that would prevent the U.S. Postal Service from reducing mail delivery from six days to five. The House Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee voted by voice.
On July 28, Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), a member of the Senate Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, announced that he had persuaded the members of the Senate panel to reject the USPS proposal. Sen. Tester explained the importance of six-day mail delivery to rural America.
“Folks in rural and frontier communities often rely on their Saturday mail to bring them the things they need to live. Unlike in urban areas where folks can walk down the block to the local drug store, many Montanans live long distances from the nearest pharmacy or newsstand. Getting mail six days per week is part of what keeps rural America strong and thriving.”
The bill notes the crucial role of six-day service. It says, “The Committee believes that six-day mail delivery is one of the most important services provided by the Federal Government to its citizens. Especially in rural and small-town America, this critical service is the linchpin that serves to bind the Nation together.”