Debated Postal Service overhaul would modify delivery options, workers' benefits, pensions
WASHINGTON — Members of a Senate committee said on Thursday that the Postal Service, which continues to struggle amid ongoing financial losses and mounting debt, needs to make substantial changes if it hopes to thrive in the digital age.
A day before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing, the Postal Service said it would seek to raise postal rates by 5.9 percent — including increasing a first-class stamp to 49 cents from 46 cents — to cope with its financial difficulties.
Congress is considering legislation that would revamp the Postal Service's operations; if it passes, the proposed rate increase might be dropped. The chairman and the ranking member of the committee, Sens. Thomas Carper, D-Del., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., introduced the Postal Reform Act of 2013 in August.
“Dr. Coburn and I believe that our bipartisan bill provides a road map to enable the Postal Service to return to profitability, not just in the near term, but to remain there in the long term,” Car-per said. “If that happens, the rate request will go away. If it doesn't happen, the rate request is there staring us and the Postal Service in the face.”
Among other things, the legislation would save the Postal Service money by modifying health care benefits and pensions for postal workers. It would change postal delivery options, including the eventual discontinuation of Saturday delivery. Other measures would require centralized or curbside delivery for new addresses and the option for existing addresses to convert from door delivery to centralized or curbside delivery.
The bill's provisions to possibly eliminate Saturday service and points of delivery would address losses often attributed to the rise of digital communication.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.