Third District Congressman Nick Rahall says the U.S. Postal Service does not have the authority to eliminate Saturday mail delivery without Congressional approval.
“They’re taking the law into their own hands,” Congressman Rahall says, pointing to language in annual appropriations bills, requiring six days of mail delivery each week.
“We just can’t stand by and allow this to occur.”
U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe announced the reductions to mail delivery, which will take effect in August, on Wednesday.
To save as much as $2 billion every year, Donahoe says mail will not be delivered to homes and businesses on Saturdays, but package, mail order medication and express mail deliveries will continue on those weekend days.
Donahue, who started his postal career in Pittsburgh, says the U.S. Postal Service is an independent agency that gets no tax dollars for day to day operations.
Because the federal government is now operating under a temporary spending measure which expires in March and not an appropriations bill, he says the agency does not need to consult Congress to make the change.
On Thursday’s MetroNews Talkline, Congressman Rahall said he disagrees.
“What’s the role of Congress? What’s our Constitutional role, our Constitutional responsibilities? It’s all spelled out in the Constitution,” he said.
“The Postal Service not only is ignoring that, but ignoring past legislative actions of the Congress.”
He says eliminating Saturday mail delivery will hit especially hard in West Virginia’s rural communities. “I don’t think the Postal Service is looking at what is best for rural America,” Congressman Rahall said.
“You know, when you cut out this mail delivery on Saturdays, if Monday is a holiday, then you could be delaying mail for up to three additional days.”
As of now, Saturday mail service is scheduled to end the week of August 5th.