Issa, Coburn tell USPS to ignore the law, cut Saturday delivery

On the same day that the Government Accountability issued a legal opinion finding that the US Postal Service did not have the authority to unilaterally end Saturday mail delivery, Congressman Darrell Issa and Senator Tom Coburn sent a letter to USPS Board Chairman Mickey Barnett suggesting, in effect, that the BOG simply ignore the law and go ahead with five day delivery:

WASHINGTON- Senator Tom Coburn, M.D., R-Okla., and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., wrote a joint letter today to the United States Postal Service Board of Governors advising them to resist political lobbying and utilize their legal authority to move forward with the modified six-day delivery plan announced on February 6, 2013.

“As members tasked with the responsibility of postal authorization, we continue to support the position the Postal Service has articulated that preservation of this appropriations rider does not prevent the planned implementation of a modified 6-day mail delivery schedule,” Issa and Coburn, chair and ranking remember of the House and Senate committees with legislative authority over USPS, write.

Coburn and Issa note that the Postal Service has the legal authority to pursue its modified six-day delivery plan in part because “[a]s proposed, the Postal Service is not eliminating a day of service, but is merely altering what products are delivered on what day, to maintain a sustainable level of service.”

What’s interesting about the letter is that it suggests that eliminating regular mail delivery on Saturday “is not eliminating a day of service”, even though the law specifies that service levels remain at those in effect in 1983, when all mail, not just package mail, was delivered on Saturday, as it is now.

By Issa and Coburn’s logic, the USPS could cut mail delivery even further, provided it continued to deliver some mail six days a week. In other words, if the USPS simply continued delivering, say, Express and Priority Monday through Saturday, it could decide to restrict regular mail deliveries to four, or even three days a week, resulting in a workforce of mostly part-time employees.

You can read the entire letter here.