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POSTAL CUTS: Door Delivery At Risk

FILE - Postal Worker Larry Brown

(CNNMoney) — Mail delivery to the door could become a thing of the past for many.

Currently, 37 million American homes and businesses get mail delivered to their doors. Now, about 15 million of them are at risk of losing home delivery if House Republicans have their way.

Already, the U.S. Postal Service has been moving residents and businesses away from doorstep deliveries to cheaper options.

Last year, the postal service stopped giving new housing developments the choice of at-home delivery and instead gave them mail boxes clustered in a common area, where residents could collect their mail.

The agency has also been trying to end door delivery for companies, said postal spokeswoman Sue Brennan.

However, the postal service can’t just stop delivering mail to a homeowner’s door, unless there’s a problem, such as a dog biting a postal worker or a route is unsafe for other reasons.

But Congress can give the agency broader power to reduce such deliveries. Republicans want to do just that — a House panel passed a bill last week that will end delivery to 15 million doorsteps and companies over the next 10 years.

Even though President Obama has endorsed a similar idea, the bill’s fate is uncertain because it may not have support in the Senate.

Delivering mail is the agency’s largest fixed cost — $30 billion. Ending all door deliveries would save $4.5 billion a year. That’s more than the agency would save from ending Saturday mail service, according to government reports.

Ending door deliveries is also controversial because postal letter carriers could have their hours cut, be forced into retirement or even laid off.

That’s a big reason why unions are no fans of these moves to cheaper delivery. The National Association of Letter Carriers said this week the House bill degrades the quality of mail service and will push customers away.

Unions oppose most efforts to cut mail service, saying the agency should focus on attracting more customers not turning off more people.

4 comments

  • John

    I say we close the entire USPS they cannot compete as they are bogged down by union wages. The service is the slowest and mis managed from top to bottom. It is amazing that the only thing the federal government is required to do 1) manage the currancy, 2)national defense and 3) mail service are all failing. I only saw that about #2 because of the VA issues that have come to light and the major restructuring that will leave us weak. Clean house in all three branches.

    • Keith

      Anything the Government is in control of is mismanaged, but I do have a question for you John. If they totally get rid of the USPS what and how would those without a computer receive their bills and pay their bills? A lot of people out there do not have a computer, a smart phone or internet and a lot of them do not like automatic bill pay. What would we put in place of the USPS?
      I do agree that we need to clean house in all 3 branches.

      • Rob Cox

        Well or course Mr. Obama would have to change the laws on late fee’s and such, but then how would his followers receive their hand-outs

  • Rainy Sunshine

    You know what the postal service’s biggest cost truly is? It’s management that sits around dreaming up stupid schemes to justify their own jobs, fixing things that aren’t broken…trying to look busy while spending money foolishly. The flip side of the problem is the unions (mostly city) protecting ridiculously lazy workers. Solve these two money wasters and the post office would be doing just fine. By the way, I like my door delivery and I generally like the postal service. Just some of the idiots running the place and protected deadbeats that cause problems for everyone else.

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