The Federal Highway Trust Fund, which provides for construction and maintenance of the nation's roads, rail lines, and bridges, is expected to run out of money this summer. Should the fund run dry, important work on the nation's transportation infrastructure would come to a halt.
Not wanting to let a crisis go to waste, House Republican leaders have seized this opportunity to push their rabid anti-postal agenda. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) are advancing a plan to pay for one year of transportation by eliminating Saturday mail delivery.
The APWU, its fellow postal unions, and their legislative allies were quick to denounce the scheme, which is flawed for a number of reasons. Using postal dollars to shore up the transportation fund is preposterous since the Postal Service is not funded by taxpayers, but instead by the sale of postage and services. Further, ending Saturday mail delivery would not yield the impressive savings claimed by USPS, but cutting service to the American people would most certainly decrease postal revenue.
In an APWU-endorsed June 3 "Dear Colleague" letter sent to all House members, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) decried the Republican effort to cut Saturday delivery and raid the Postal Service like a piggy bank. Said Connolly, "Eliminating Saturday mail delivery would be bad for business, harm consumers, and not surprisingly, lacks the necessary majority to pass the House under regular order."
Even conservative organizations like Heritage Action deride the proposal as a "gimmick" because it claims to pay into the fund with savings from a non-existent postal bailout.