Issa introduces bill to end Saturday mail delivery, use savings to increase military pensions (seriously!)

Darrell-Issa-007Congressman Darrell Issa has introduced a bill that would allow the US Postal Service to stop delivering regular mail on Saturdays. Package deliveries would continue six days a week.

In a somewhat peculiar move, the Saturday service cut is included in a bill to reverse a reduction in cost of living adjustments for some retired military veterans that was part of the bipartisan Paul Ryan/Patty Murray budget deal.

Why the link? Issa claims that over the next 10 years the delivery cuts would save $17 billion- more than triple the budget savings provided by the military COLA reduction.

There’s just one little problem with Issa’s scheme, of course: since the USPS is funded by its own revenue, and is “off-budget”, reductions in USPS expenses have no direct impact on the federal budget.

So how does eliminating Saturday delivery reduce the federal budget deficit? Presumably Issa expects the USPS to use the savings to start catching up on the $16.5 billion in “trust fund” payments the USPS has defaulted on over the years. And you don’t need to be a math whiz to see that resuming the trust fund payments would consume all of the savings, doing nothing to keep rates down or improve the USPS’s actual financial position.

Under the strange and exotic math employed by our Congress, any money the USPS pays in to the funds gets counted as revenue. In the real world, of course, that would be considered nonsense. The trust fund is solely intended to be used to fund USPS retiree health benefits- money added to it isn’t available for other purposes, like increasing military pensions.

So the reality is that Issa’s bill wouldn’t save any money at all. The USPS would still use its off-budget revenue to fund its off-budget retiree health benefits. The 5 day delivery savings would simply allow the USPS to go back to making those payments decades in advance, allowing Issa to pretend that he has saved money and helped veterans when all he’s done is blow more smoke.

Here’s the Issa press release:

WASHINGTON – House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) announced the introduction of legislation to allow the U.S. Postal Service to implement a modified six-day delivery schedule and repeal reductions in military pensions made by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. The military pension cuts were made to achieve $6.2 billion in savings over 10 years.

“This legislation will restore Cost-of-Living Adjustments for our military retirees and not only replace the savings but nearly triple them- saving $17 billion over 10 years according to conservative USPS estimates,” said Chairman Issa.  “This common sense reform will help restore the cash-strapped Postal Service to long-term solvency and is supported by the President and key Congressional leaders in both chambers.”

USPS is forced to deliver paper mail, like bills and advertisements, six days a week by an unfunded mandate included in annual appropriations legislation. If the mandate is lifted, the Postmaster General has announced that USPS would modify its current delivery schedule to deliver packages 6 days a week and paper mail 5 days a week. Express and priority mail delivery would not change, and post offices would remain open on Saturdays.

Chairman Issa recently outlined the benefits of ending the unfunded mandate in a letter to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.)

Full text of H.R. 3801, can be viewed here.

 

  • jim

    this should have happened 5 years ago. 5 day delivery is sufficent. good bye saturday

    • freecountry

      Not worried about your job, eh?

      • Jack

        Jim has his benefits and pay locked up with his time-in-service. He is looking for a buy out to go ahead and retire. Jim doesn’t care at all about his fellow Postal Employees who does not have the years to retire. Typical Postal Employee.

    • Elroy

      Its good/

  • Disgrunted clerk

    Again???? If your going to the house anyway, then why not take the mail anyway???

  • RICHIEJD7

    GET LOST BRO….WE LOVE OUR POST OFFICE

  • Robert

    So where is the money coming from the postal service does not use tax money taking away a day will not make any more money

    • mailguy728

      the post office is self funded. all the money from postage PO Boxesand mailing permits is how the post office is funded. We take zero tax payers dollars. Great question Robert, not many people know that we are self funded

  • Retired PO

    I hope they vote this guy out sooner than later. This bill is BS just like him. So his plan is to make the PO prefund for retirement and what pass a bill later to take that money back and put it toward the federal deficit. He has a vendetta against the PO and needs to be voted out.

    • Anon

      Sorry to say, Issa is in a completely safe district. Sorrier to say it’s mine.

      • freecountry

        WHY has he not been charged or convicted yet?

  • Retired PO

    USPS is not goverment funded so by doing away with service won’t save the Goverment any money. But if we Issa & the rest of the congress benefits we could save money. That money could be used to fund military benefits. The military is for the people by the people unlike the politicians their are party driven. The people need to wake up and VOTE him out .

  • Jim Roach

    Does anyone not get that the PO has been a cash cow for Congress? Issa is a sick man.

  • JBM

    The Postal “Service” has gotten so bad in my city, if there’s one less day each week that I need to deal with the nonstop stupid mistakes their dim-witted new lower-salaried CCAs (city carrier assistants) make, then I support any bill that reduces the idiocy to M-F only. Actually, as many others have commented, reduce mail delivery to M-W-F and leave parcels on the M-Sat schedule. People only want and/or need their First Class mail and parcels. Most of the junk crammed into mailboxes is advertising that nobody wants, but they won’t stop bringing it. In the good old days, you could request delivery of only First Class mail and Periodicals, but now they make their profit on junk mail that nobody even looks at as it goes directly to the trash can. Also, the parcels are things people ordered, so they want those as quickly as possible. The modern postal “service” workforce will consist of “half price” part-time employees, who will fill in as the longtime, dedicated, hardworking career employees (who do the job the right way) retire or die out. Apparently, the new CCAs aren’t told that the number on the mail or parcel (the address) is supposed to match the number on the house or mailbox. There doesn’t seem to be any accountability. If that’s the future of the Postal “Service”, then the less I have to deal with them, the better.

    • willnotgopostal

      Obviously you are not a small business owner that needs and users the USPS 6 days a week. You probably don’t get your meds by mail 6 days a week. And I bet you don’t live in a rural area either.

      • JBM

        Medications are usually mailed in easily identifiable packaging and will be amongst the “parcels” that would still be delivered on Saturdays if letter mail delivery is reduced to M-F..

        • matt

          Not true. Meds come in white bags which are not parcels, they are spr’s which are counted as flats. They wouldnt go.

    • LloydStreetMarty

      that advertising keeps the cost of a stamp down. Without advertising the post office wouldn’t exist.

    • freecountry

      Another right wing wacko that wants to destroy the economy with low wage part time workers so only the rich have money.

    • common sense

      Take some responsibility for yourself- no one forces you to “deal” with mail. If you are so bothered by having to “deal” with it, simply remove your mail receptacle. Problem solved!

      • JBM

        Ironic use of the name “common sense”. You miss the point. The newer postal employees are paid less, don’t plan to work for 30+ years, have no sense of pride or responsibility to do a good job. As the longtime career clerks and carriers leave, the service most people expect from the USPS will diminish. Management orders employees to work faster– don’t waste time checking accuracy of addresses or ring doorbells when leaving packages or pick up outgoing mail if there’s no mail delivered. People just want their First Class mail and parcels delivered properly, which used to be the “service” they could expect. It’s not like that anymore and it will only get worse. If you haven’t been affected yet, good for you.

        • common sense

          Hmmm… it seems to me you’re the one who hates to “deal with” mail, and only wants it delivered three days a week, and no ad mail. Hate to break it to you, but that’s not something you need a professional career workforce to do. So if that’s what you want, get used to low wage non-career carriers who will be gone as soon as they can find something better. Can’t have it both ways!

  • Michael Thielke

    There aree other places to cut. This I heard the other day, we spend several millions to study romance novels, to see if they are not to sexy. He wants the post office to go under. Besides he doesn’t care, he is worth at least $150 million.

  • Gregg Grubbs

    This is typical republican bull shit.I think Darrell has been watching Frank Fritz on American Pickers to much.Bill Bundling is common place and often slips through because nobody takes the time to actually read it.This Moron needs to address the pre-funding mandate that is really the major reason the USPS is almost insolvent.How long will this foolishness continue until someone has the beans to step up to the plate and do something to help the USPS out of this dilemma?? Issa is a complete fool and not worthy of his position!!

  • Postal worker

    Carriers wanting 5 day delivery are not concerned about kerping the usps afloat with any supposed savings. They just want weekends off. I say make wed or thurs the non scheduled delivery day to avoid the back up of mail with Monday holidays . See if they are so in favor of 5 day now

    • Charlie

      My wife has delivered mail six days a week for most of a year now. Perpetually short-handed. She has no life other than her job. Most days doesn’t get home till 7 or later. Only day she gets off is Sunday, and she’s usually too tired to do anything but sleep or lay around. So yes, some carriers DO want 5 day delivery, if only for it to be a decent job. They will NEVER have enough people, so she will ALWAYS have to work six days a week. Scheduled days off?? What is that???

  • BOB

    Just another way of taking RATE PAYERS money and using it as a back door tax. The government has been doing this for a long time and people will not wake up to that fact.

  • Texas mailman

    Issa is a dangerous lier

  • Yonkers Mailman

    What scares me the most is that those in power who can have this bill passed, are going to get it passed and what does that say of our leaders? That they can get duped? But are they really being duped? The bottom line is that whether they do or don’t, it is our lives (the postal employees) that will be affected and not any of them. Their pockets are full no matter what they do. I hope I’m wrong but it does happen, we as a nation have plenty of work to do to get these puppets out of their positions!

  • USPS employee

    So Issa wants to embezzle from the Post Office to support his buddies inability to budget? What a D. A.

  • Celina

    I can’t believe that we have such stupid people making laws. POST OFFICE IS NOT GOVERNMENT FUNDED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Nemso

    If the USPS were to cut Sat. delivery (and I hope they do not), the monies should go to the USPS. We already have plenty of military veterans on our payroll, and we could use the monies (which are ours, after all) to buy trucks, scanners, supplies, etc. The military budget should include money for pensions. Nice try, Issa!!!

  • 619

    This bill will never pass Issa is trying to slip this in to do away with Saturday and eliminate about 30,000 postal jobs he knows this won’t fund the military’s retiree cola he is trying to pull a fast one this is how they operate

  • LMJB

    Another scheme to rip off the post office.

  • matt

    Your stupid! Carrier only scheduled to work 5 days a week. If management would staff the po there wouldnt be ot. Carrier working their ns day is management fault. Article 3 on the national agreement by both parties agree its management responsibility to staff the offices.

  • bear

    Your comment is a JOKE, RIGHT! Do you or have you ever worked for the USPS?

  • zmoney

    i think this is the one with 666 on his head

    • dreammerchant

      this guy along with the current and prior POSTMASTER has been trying to make bills to do the PO in for years now,he and his republican buddies must have invested a lot in FEDEX and UPS or some other business they have.I think he looks likes a ****** drunk.