POLITICS

Obama pushing for end of Saturday mail delivery

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Sean Higgins

Here’s an item you may have missed from the other day: President Obama wants the postman to stay home on the weekends:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Even as it adds fuel to battles over taxes and Social Security, President Barack Obama’s budget will reprise lots of smaller bore proposals that have gone nowhere in a gridlocked Washington.

Ideas like higher security fees on airline tickets, the end of Saturday mail delivery and higher pension contributions for federal workers are the hardy perennials of Obama’s budgets, reprised year after year, along with more widely known proposals like taxing oil companies and the rich. (Emphasis added)

Ending Saturday delivery would save the cash-strapped Postal Service as much as $2 billion annually but is aggressively opposed by the unions that represent postal workers. It would mean less overtime for their members and many fear it is a first step towards privatizing the whole operation. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe has been the point man pushing for the change. Less well-known is that Obama has his back, as his budget shows.

The idea hasn’t gotten much traction in Congress though. A more cynical take on this would be that ending Saturday delivery is just a bargaining chit for the administration. That is, something they intend to discard during negotiations with Congress so they can make the claim that they are making concessions.

 

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