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.

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  • Geno

    Let's tax the rich, I am sure they can come up with a few hundred billion to bail out the post office.

  • George

    You are all worng. I am a mail carrier that has been working sixty hours a week. For the last 5 years as have most all of the letter carriers in my city. This adds up to over 30,000 in overtime per carrier. multiply that across the nation to figure out where the bad business decisions were made. Hire enough people to do the job and you would not have so much loss. They caused this problem strictly to achieve the amount of loss necessary to justify cutting jobs and service .

    • GregG

      "They caused this problem strictly to achieve the amount of loss necessary to justify cutting jobs and service"....then why are you still working?

  • Tim C

    Privatize them! That will force them to come up with a sound business model. The unions don't want to stop Saturday delivery because that is a lot of overtime.

  • Dave

    I doubt it could turn a profit if stamps were 60 cents each. Face it, it's an old school organization where employees make enough to live on and even raise a family. That's not very fashionable now days where the average worker makes almost nothing in this state.

  • Don Jr.

    I'd be all for eliminating Saturday delivery if it would actually help the Post Service stay solvent. It won't. Rural Americans will see diminished service and the Postal Service's budget problems will remain, unfortunately.
    I support congressman Rahall's opposition to the USPS eliminating Saturday delivery, unless it is part of a comprehensive plan that fixes the problem.

  • thornton

    Ditch Saturday delivery..I would not miss it for one would also be one less day to throw all the junk mail away.

  • Jeff

    Ending Saturday delivery will not do much to save money. What they really need to do is centralize more Post offices. It is totally stupid and ignorant that in Parts of our state, there are multiple post offices (yes unfortunately in the rural areas) that are within 10 miles of each other. In one fayette county can pass 4 in one 7 mile stretch. That is a waste of dollars.

  • Medman

    Perfect example of why government cannot be efficient. If they outsourced mail service to the private sector, they would cut costs and improve service. Saturday mail delivery these days is a "no brainer" in terms of saving money without impacting an overwhelming majority of our citizens. No one can make a valid argument as to how this will destroy their business or personal life. The only people opposing this are the postal unions and they are the ones who are a big part of the problem. But, the bigger problem is that postal services must change because of e-mail and on-line options for conducting business. Even Social Security now has adopted a no mail service for monthly payments.

  • Protechcpa

    So ironic to hear a left wing democrat like Rahall pontificating about what is and is not constitutional. Apparently, that only matters when it supports his position. When the Tea Party demands adherence, we are labeled a "fringe group".

  • Dave

    The post office is in a tough situation. They don't get money from Congress, but Congress tells them what to do. So they have to at least break even but Congress won't let them break even. They should become another money loss government agency or be allowed to become profitable.

    • GregG

      I'm glad someone else see this Dave. The way Congress had treated the Postal Service, how could anyone look at it other than Congress trying to bankrupt the Postal Service so they can hand it to their "friends" in the private sector. I would like to see Congress control Big Oil as they are doing the Postal Service. Wouldn't it be great for our economy if the price of gas was the same as a postage stamp.

  • Don

    This is just further evidence of why Nick Jo is so irrelevant in DC. He tries to create dust-ups for the wrong causes. The USPS is a bloated government organization for whom time is quickly passing by. When they try to adjust to the reality of life (like trying to make their spending match their income) he tosses out this scantimonious crap about the roll of Congress when he won't offer even lip service to the Senate who has totally failed in thier consitiutional duty to pass a budget for the past four years - but that would require publically diagreeing with Jay and Joe - which Nick Jo doesn't have the guts to do. To say nothing of his president who daily tramples the Constitution into the ground. Where is the cry to defend the American citizens rights in the Constitution from Obama's Judge, Jury, and Executioner approach to drone-killing American citizens abroad? Nick Jo is a joke and has been for years.

  • Barry Bledsoe

    The Postal Service is supposed to be an independent agency. They should operate in a manner which covers their costs, and be allowed to cut costs as needed to operate in the black.

    I cannot understand why Congressman Rahall is so concerned about politicians not being able to dictate how the USPS operates, but says nothing about the president issuing over a thousand executive orders, and trampling on our Constitution.

    And I agree with Greg. Stop worrying about drugs in baseball, and take care of the people who elected you, such as the coal mners who stand to lose what was promised to them!

  • GregG

    OH REALLY!! Congress forcing the Postal Service to pre-fund its future retiree health benefits isn't "overstepping"?!! Tell me Mr. Rahall, what other government agency or private company is forced by congress to do this?!! While your flexing your little fist at the Postal Service, what are you and the rest of Congress doing for the employees of Peabody coal that are being screwed out of their health insurance?!!

    • mahogma

      Exactly. Maybe America should go to a unicameral legislature and eliminate the entire House of Representatives. With gerrymandering in place, the House has become nothing more than a very expensive hindrance to the Democratic process. All most members are concerned about is being reelected anyway,kowtowing to corporations and the wealthiest benefactors,public welfare be damned.

  • PM

    ...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.”..."

    Congressman Rahal, Congress has the constitutional obligation to pass an annual budget. Congress, and yourself included, has failed to uphold that constitutional responsibility for 4 years.

    Big deal if mail doesn't deliver on Saturdays! How are people inconvenienced by no Saturday deliveries? Packages are still shipped, post offices are still open and PO Box's still get mail.

    The President ignores congressional investigations and ignores legislative and judicial actions and you are silent!

    No sir, the real problem is that congress isn't looking at what is best for rural America!

  • Brenda

    Thank you Third District Congressman Nick Rahall for standing up for us. Saturday delivery & pickup is important to me.

    • tommy

      the postal service is bleeding money wake up people and quit being so obtuse and selfish: I commend the postmaster for having the courage to make tough choices we need more of that in Washington!