More Than 100 House Members Join Connolly, Young Letter on USPS reform

Connolly and Young Call on Congress to Develop 21st Century USPS Business Model
More than 100 Members of Congress sign letter in support of 6 Day Mail, Rural Post Offices, Innovation

Washington, D.C. –Virginia Congressman Gerry Connolly was joined by more than 100 members of Congress in calling on Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to maintain robust mail service, including 6 day delivery and rural post offices, and develop a transformational 21st Century business model for the USPS.  Republican Don Young of Alaska joined Connolly in circulating the letter.

“Legislation proposed in Congress, specifically H.R. 2309, presents a false choice to the American public,” said Connolly.  “Giving up six day mail service, closing rural post offices, and ending next day mail service will forfeit USPS’ competitive advantage, and would accelerate the decline of the Postal Service.”

“Rather than pass legislation which dismantles the Postal Service, Congress must be a partner in building a postal business model for the 21st Century,” said Connolly.  “By allowing the Postal Service to innovate and relieving the retirement prefunding obligation imposed by Congress in 2006 we can protect the infrastructure of a $1 trillion mailing industry while maintaining universal service for all Americans—rural, suburban, and urban.”

Connolly and Young’s letter suggests alternatives to legislative proposals that cut mail delivery from six days to five, eliminate 3,600 or more rural post offices, end next day mail service, and stop 90% of door-to-door mail delivery.  The letter highlights the devastating effects H.R. 2309 would have on the Postal Service, including lost revenue and cuts in service.  Connolly and Young suggest there are alternatives, such as restructuring the $5.5 billion annual Retirement Health Benefit prefunding requirement, refunding USPS overpayments into FERS, and permitting USPS to adopt new business practices that would allow USPS to forgo these drastic cuts in service.  In contrast to HR 2309, bipartisan Senate legislation reschedules retirement health benefits payments to protect USPS solvency and allows the Postal Service to innovate and earn new revenue.

Connolly and Young look forward to working with congressional leaders to build a Postal Service business model  for the future which closes the current gap in funding while continuing robust mail service to all areas of the nation.


The text of the Connolly / Young letter:

Dear Speaker Boehner and Leader Pelosi,

We are writing with respect to recent efforts to address the budget crisis facing the United States Postal Service (USPS).  Considering the Postal Service’s Constitutional mandate to provide reliable mail service and delivery to all areas of the country, we ask that you work with us to ensure any postal reform legislation develops a business model which will allow the Postal Service to maintain robust service in the 21st century.

House and Senate committees as well as USPS management have considered different postal restructuring proposals.  Some have called for eliminating 3,600 or more rural post offices, eliminating six day mail service, ending next day mail service, and stopping 90% of door-to-door mail delivery.  We recognize the need for USPS to restructure its business model, but believe that we must not be rushed into false choices which could accelerate the decline of the Postal Service, with negative impacts both for our constituents and the trillion dollar private sector mailing industry which depends on the Postal Service.

For example, closing thousands of rural post offices would save less than 1% of the Postal Service’s annual operating budget, and would not have a significant impact in closing the Postal Service’s approximately $9 billion budget deficit.  However, closing rural post offices would have a devastating impact on communities where the post office is the center of a community and a primary means of communication.  By comparison, restructuring the $5.5 billion annual Retirement Health Benefit (RHB) prefunding requirement, imposed by Congress in 2006, would save far more money without any negative impact on mail service or the solvency of USPS pensions.  That 2006 law required that the USPS prefund 100% of anticipated retirement and retirement health costs, a requirement that no other public or private entity in America faces.  By comparison, many AAA rated localities and states prefund retirement up to 80%.

We also have practical alternatives to reducing mail service from six to five days.  The Postal Regulatory Commission found that USPS exaggerated savings and underestimated revenue losses which would result from a reduction in mail service to five days or fewer.  However, even if we were to accept the generous cost savings estimate presented by USPS, it saves three times less money than refunding money that USPS employees and customers overpaid into FERS.  Since USPS has overpaid some $10 billion into FERS—its own money, not money paid by taxpayers—simply refunding that overpayment would have a much larger impact on USPS’s balance sheet without the negative impacts to service associated with reducing mail service from six to five days.  This is an important choice for us to make because six day mail service is a competitive advantage for the Postal Service, and because six day mail service ensures that pharmaceuticals and other important communications and products can be shipped to our constituents in a timely manner.

Ending next day mail service and stopping 90% of door-to-door mail delivery, most of which occurs in small towns and older communities, also would degrade service.  The USPS earns three times less revenue from non-postal sources than comparable postal services in Europe, due to a provision of the 2006 postal restructuring bill which precludes many sources of USPS revenue.  Rather than tying the hands of USPS Congress should let it operate like a business, in partnership and not competition with other businesses.  It would be difficult to determine how much revenue could be generated, but we do know outdated restrictions impede innovation and should be removed.

By considering reforms which save money without damaging service cuts, particularly for rural areas, we can maintain fidelity to the Postal Service’s Constitutional mandate, create opportunities for business growth, and perhaps obviate the need to lay off hundreds of thousands of our neighbors who work for the Postal Service.  We appreciate the opportunity to comment on such an important matter, and share the commitment to developing a new Postal Service business model which closes the current gap in funding while continuing robust mail service to all areas of our nation.


Gerald E. Connolly                           Don Young
(VA-11, D)                                          (AK, R)

16 thoughts on “More Than 100 House Members Join Connolly, Young Letter on USPS reform

  1. Call Your Senators:

    202-224-3121Yes across the country, jobs will be re-posted, do not worry, the APWU is worried about …. the food and accommodations at the national Convention in August, Cliff “no Balls” Guffey has a Suite for his cronies and all the National Coordinators, yes they care about…. themselves,so the APWU is against the VERA’s, the APWU needs your dues for that big party in Vegas, we went to some of these and the local parties were 15k to 20k blowouts, this national one, put your own figure to it, a waste of dues from you,so as you the craft union member suffer or lose your job and/or employment, Cliff Guffey your national Union president will be partying hardy in Vegas,” As the USPS and APWU Burn “!
    Support S. 1789, there is no choice now;
    (Capitol Switchboard)
    [Click here for direct #s]

    Tell them you Support

    Senate Bill 1789.

  2. Congress should insure the USPS is subsidized to cover its losses 5.1 billion dollars quarter 1. The robust mailing service is gaining momentumn daily. Bulk business mail should be delivered 6 days aweek to insure that every one has equal opportunity to purchas bargins. New neighborhood officies need to be set up to aid consumers in dealing with increasing gas prices. The post office keep Americans connected. Facebook, internet, I Pods, smart phones can not replace the post office in keeping Americans connected. PMG should be appointed to insure that PMG salary does not exceed vice president and cabinet members.Headquarters staph should be reduced in order to hire more craft employees to handle the growing mail volume.

  3. The Pmg never said anything about April ver. Congress will not be able to pass this bill. They know it and so does everyone with a brain. Why does this story get air time. Even if 100 house members did not need the publicity and waste time writting a letter it still would not pass. Political posturing is just as bad as doing nothing. Congress along with the senate and white house should be honest and tell us that they will and are planning on doing absolutely nothing. We do not need to worry about layoff’s or closings because the pmg is running a bluff and it is about to run out. He will be encouraged to retire sometime middle of summer or early fall. Next year 2013 after Obama re-election the usps will be federalized and part of our tax system. Problem solved and all this fuss is a waste of time.

  4. Oh YEAH! Might as well change the name to the “22nd Century Postal Bill ” by the time you do anything about it.

  5. Congress talks a GOOD story then goes home to look for Easter eggs for 2 weeks. Such a HARD life, must be FEEL GOOD to tell everyone else how OVER PAID and WORTHLESS they are and then go home after STILL DOING NOTHING!

  6. What’s not to like about proposing that the USPS create a 21st Century Business Model? But, of course, this has to be aligned with an 18th Century Mandate and a 20th Century Infrastructure. By invoking the notion of competitive advantage, we would expect Connelly and others to do a quick read of Michael Porter’s competitive advantage model which is the industry standard. Six-day delivery and rural offices are not a competitive advantage, they are the infrastructure that supports universal service. They were not established to create a competitive advantage, but community connectivity in a nation of communities. The mail processing and transportation network were established to support the same universal service. So let’s call it what it is and earmark the funding when mail revenues fall short. We all know that some time in the future, we’ll have to address the question of how we are going to pay for all of this: Social Security, Medicare, and universal postal service.

  7. Come on “Living off the Government”, “DEMS”, “OBAMA”? You sound like another brainwashed Rush and that Cry Baby Glen Beck Drone. Do you actually believe all the bullshit they talk about? Go vote yourself out of a job………..

  8. Yep wingman your right there are a lot of DUMB SOBS. They voted OBAMA in!!! OK maybe we should put some of the 30 million and rising DEMS who live off the Government and dont hit a lick in congress. Now that would fix it all. Then we all could live off the Government. Yep you liberals are smart.LOL

  9. there will be no early out incentives. The pmg is running a bluff, he will be fired. you will have completely federalized usps!

  10. True politicans urging to maintain robust mail delivery 6 days a week and maintain rural post office. Maintaing rural post offices in small town makes sense. The rest of the story is not common cents as in the 21st century with increasing debt (5.1 billon dollar loss ytd) and revenue decreasing as mail volume is decreasing how can robust service be maintained. The economic law of supply and demand control revenue generation and profit/loss factors. USPS present services exceed demand resulting in negative returns. Cost effective operations to control cost evidently does not matter to politicans who will do anything to get votes.
    The American public ask the question: why does postal service deliver sale papers on Sat. as price of fuel is $3.89++. Small community post offices within 6-7 mile radius with a level 22 in town. Several offices have no delivery but have postmasters whose salaries range from $63,000-$73000 which is an excellen salary for a Postmaster selling stamps and boxing. There is no justification for offices with these expenses and distance from each other to exist. These are relics of the past a need in 1950 but not in todays technological advanced communication era, Electronic mail and what it provides for individual and business is the reason he USPS is loosing billion of dollars. Today the USPS is equivalent to existing before electricity came on the scene. Kerosene lamp and candle maker had politicans urging to stop progress for the future same seriano as politicans today wanting to maintain over extended inefficient postal services.
    Who will pay to maintain present postal operation unless they can use AND EXCUTE UPS AND FED X BUSINESS MODELS.

  11. Is this just lip service or do i sense some Republicans actually afraid of not being re- elected in November…. I really can’t believe what i’m reading.. Some Republicans are actually siding with the MIDDLE CLASSS.. WOW!!!!

    ISSA/ROSS… Your people are breaking ranks with you.. I guess they realize you two nut- jobs are two peas in a pod!!!!! Go fuck yourselves!!!!!!

  12. Wingman you are 100% right about those rich chumps who only think of themselves they are ruining this country. Lets get the early-out retirement incentive approved so I can get the hell out the P.O.

  13. As a government agency our USPS is vital to the flow of commerce, it needs to return to a ‘service’ orientation and quit the competitive stance. Somehow ditch the political stalling and jockeying quagmire of reform.


 Government CEO servants at any level in any department or service should not be paid like private enterprise CEOs.

 Congress uses the USPS like an ATM; several bills going at a time, generating millions in lobby funds. UPS and FED EX stay viable with huge contracts paid by USPS consumer’s postage. Other stake holders in the big USPS circle beg for the status quo; why do you suppose there’s no ‘fax for delivery’ product, or instant ’email for delivery’ services. These products are somewhat offered at the “competitors” Fed EX Office and UPS Stores costing much more then there intrinsic value.

 We as a nation should expect a reinvention of our USPS, and we should demand that all the lobby money be returned in the form of USPS operational funds. We also need the streamlining of management at both levels (field and headquarters). Then put more feet on the street, emphasis on services and products, continue six day delivery, maybe even develop a 24/7 product or two.

”We” need to take back the USPS before congress and politics destroy it. As a forty year plus servant in the USPS I would volunteer to work alongside America’s super delivery CEO Fred Smith (FED EX) to make it so. The resulting New USPS would be a legitimate, delivery cooperative continuing and growing America’s commerce.


Sincerely Mike

  14. On the surface this idea sounds a lot better than HR 2309, which that asshole Darryl Issa drew up. I hope like hell he’s sent packing this fall. Legislators like him, Paul Ryan, Steve Womack and other GOP lunatics will destroy the middle class, kill Medicare and pass that money onto rich bastards with even more tax breaks and hurl us into a third world status as fast as you can say “Koch brothers”. It’s bad enough these people are in Congress. It’s even worse that there are dumb SOB’s who think they’re doing a good job and vote them in. Stupidity is the biggest threat to the country there is.

  15. PMG addresses Congress
    Urges support for USPS plan to profitability
    Posted 3/27/12 at 3:45 p.m.

    PMG Pat Donahoe during this week’s House hearing on the Postal Service.
    PMG Pat Donahoe went to Capitol Hill Tuesday to support the Postal Service’s plan to return the agency to fiscal solvency, and to tell them of the VERA plans ( Early Retirement offers for April 2012).
    Donahoe told legislators during a hearing of the House Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and Labor Policy the comprehensive plan  USPS has developed will produce a reduction in annual costs of $22.5 billion by 2016. He said the plan provides a “clear path toward financial stability” for USPS, but these have to include the Early Retirement Incentives in April 2012.
    The PMG urged Congress to consider the comprehensive plan favorably. He said its adoption would allow USPS to meet its universal service obligations and its employees would continue providing reliable and affordable service to the public. “We believe it’s a responsible approach that’s fair to our customers and our employees especially being able to offer more of a retirement incentive in April 2012,” he said.

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