The Post Office Is Tired of Begging Congress for Attention

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The Postal Service announced today that it plans to end Saturday delivery starting on August 1. Congress hasn’t actually approved this or anything, but apparently USPS is going to do it anyway and dare Congress to stop them. I like Felix Salmon’s take on this:

The organization does actually have a detailed plan for becoming fully self-reliant over the next few years…The big problem is simple, but huge: Congress isn’t playing along, and instead is just making matters worse, unhelpfully micromanaging everything from postage rates to delivery schedules to health-care contributions.

That’s why I love the idea of the Post Office doing something that’s clearly illegal, putting the ball squarely in Congress’s court…Today’s announcement says to me that relations between the Post Office and Congress have deteriorated so much that the Post Office has given up on getting Congressional buy-in for its plans. At the same time, the plans are necessary (sufficient is a different question) if the Post Office is going to survive for decades to come. And so the Post Office is just going ahead with what needs to be done, and has decided to treat Congress as an adversary, rather than as a key partner in its evolution.

Trillion dollar coins, recess appointments, endless filibusters, debt ceiling hostage taking, and now the Post Office telling Congress to take a hike. Maybe this is our future: Congress has become so dysfunctional that other agencies are going to start shrugging their shoulders and just getting on with business. If Congress wants to stop them, let ’em try. At least it will force them to pay attention.

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If you're new to Mother Jones or aren't yet sold on supporting our nonprofit reporting, please take a moment to read Monika Bauerlein's post about our priorities after these chaotic several years, and why this relatively quiet moment is also an urgent one for our democracy and Mother Jones’ bottom line—and if you find it compelling, please join us.

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