After successful campaign to prevent rural post office closures, Senator wants more answers on delivery standards
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, who last year led a successful fight that prevented the closure of hundreds of post offices in rural Missouri, continues her advocacy to protect postal services for Missourians. In a letter, McCaskill requested additional information from the Postmaster General about the Postal Service's claims that it would realize substantial savings by moving to a five-day delivery model-claims McCaskill questions.
In 2010, the U.S. Postal Service requested that the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) issue an opinion on moving to five-day delivery. At the time, the Postal Service claimed that the move would result in significant savings while incurring only a modest reduction in revenue. However, in 2011, when the Commission issued their independent opinion of what savings would result from moving to five-day delivery, its research concluded that the potential cost savings had been greatly overstated by the Postal Service.
"We don't even know if the move to five-day delivery will save the post office any real money," said McCaskill, who was born in Rolla, Mo. "Many families, businesses, and seniors, especially in rural Missouri, depend on current delivery standards and want to see it preserved."
The data used by USPS and the PRC to make their calculations were years out of date. In letters to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and the PRC, McCaskill requests that the agencies re-conduct and publish analyses on the impact of five-day delivery using the most accurate, up-to-date fiscal data.
"In particular (I) have expressed concern about the effects that such a move would have on customers who reside or conduct business in rural or remote areas," the letter reads.
Last year, McCaskill successfully fought to keep hundreds of rural post offices in rural Missouri open and operating. She has previously argued that shutting down rural post offices would not help the Postal Service achieve substantial cost-savings, and cutting Saturday mail delivery would deal significant blows to communities across rural America.