A new bill offered in the House of Representatives by Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) would replace pension cuts to military retirees by ending the Postal Service’s delivery of Saturday mail.
The proposal would save an estimated $17 billion over 10 years and eliminate a controversial provision in the budget deal passed last month that hit military retirees with a 1 percent decrease in their annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLA). The budget agreement did not cut pensions for federal civilian retirees.
“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 Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
“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,” he said. President Barack Obama recommended scrapping Saturday mail in his budget proposal last year.
The bill (H.R. 3801), introduced on Thursday, would authorize the USPS to switch to a “modified” schedule, eliminating the delivery of paper mail on Saturdays while keeping package delivery. The USPS has tried to drop Saturday mail in the past, a move U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe says would save $2 billion per year.
Issa’s office said express and priority mail delivery would not change under the proposal, and post offices would continue to be open on Saturdays.