Testifying before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, USPS Board of Governors Chairman Mickey Barnett said Wednesday that switching from 6-day mail delivery to 5-day is inevitable, albeit not imminent.
“The Board has been unanimous for three years that delivery has to go from six days to five days,” he said. “It’s going to happen. I don’t know when, but it’s going to happen.”
In January, the postal service announced it would cut Saturday mail delivery starting in August of this year, a move the agency has been forced to abandon for now. A recent budget bill passed by Congress mandated 6-day delivery, and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has told the postal service that it doesn’t have the legal authority to cut Saturday mail.
USPS is asking Congress to pass legislation that gives the agency more authority to enact changes in an attempt to turn around its dire financial situation.
“We need flexibility under the law to enact our new delivery schedule,” U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe told lawmakers on Capitol Hill Wednesday.
For the political direct mail industry, a shift in delivery schedule—along with the shuttering of some regional facilities—would require changes to political mail schedules, though several consultants told C&E earlier this year they aren’t overly concerned just yet.
If the postal service is able to cut Saturday from its delivery schedule, Barnett said the result would be some $2 billion trimmed from the agency’s sizable debt.