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Photo courtesy of USPS
Photo courtesy of USPS
Congress could prevent the post office from stopping Saturday mail delivery.

BY ANTHONY O’REILLY

The postman always comes six times a week.

The Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress, issued a statement that the post office was not able to shorten its service by eliminating Saturday service, because it needs the approval of Congress first.

The opinion by the G.A.O. comes after the House sent President Barack Obama a spending measure that requires the United States Postal Service (USPS) to maintain Saturday delivery through September 30.

“The opinion does not address the Postal Service’s proposal to move to five-day mail delivery, with six-day package delivery, during the week of August 5,” said David Partenheimer, a spokesman for the USPS said in a statement.

“This impartial and definitive G.A.O. legal opinion makes it crystal clear that USPS cannot operate outside the legislative authority of Congress, and unilaterally implement a change in delivery service that many believe will not only disrupt mail service, but also exacerbate U.S.P.S. revenue losses and contribute to the decline of this constitutionally mandated service,” said Representative Gerald E. Connolly of Virginia, who requested the investigation by G.A.O.

The post office has been dealing with a massive budget deficit as the demand for ‘snail mail’ decreases. In an interview with The Courier last month, USPS spokesperson Congetta Chirichello said “from fiscal year 2001 through the end of 2012, mail volume for this category has declined by almost 23 billion pieces, approximately 42 percent.”

 

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