The mail has been losing out to faster forms of communication for some time now, and it’s put a serious financial strain on the Postal Service. Congress is now looking at dramatically overhauling the agency to return it to financial solvency. Last week, Representative Darrell Issa (R-California) introduced The Postal Reform Act, which would restructure the Postal Service and reduce mail delivery service to 5 days a week.
The Postal Reform Act would create a panel with oversight of the Postal Service modeled on the District of Columbia’s Financial Control Board. It would have a “broad mandate” to require the agency to reduce costs and bring itself back to financial solvency. The panel would have the authority to renegotiate collective bargaining agreements with postal workers.
A separate commission would eliminate “excess capacity and facilities.” The agency would move to five-day mail delivery, a proposal from the Postal Service that congress has considered for several years but not acted on.
On one hand, it makes sense to cut service to save money. However, people may be even less likely to use the Postal Service if weekend delivery is eliminated or if their neighborhood post office is shuttered. (When the post office in my neighborhood was closed, a FedEx and UPS store both sprang up to take its place. Despite the added cost, it’s now much more convenient to send packages and letters using these services instead.) Do you think these proposed reforms will work or is Congress fighting a losing battle? What would you do to improve the Postal Service?
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