nb_cid nb_clickOther -tt-nb this.style.behavior='url(#default#homepage)';this.setHomePage('http://www.aol.com/?mtmhp=acm50ieupgradebanner_112313 network-banner-empty upgradeBanner
14
Search AOL Mail
AOL Mail
Video
Video
AOL Favorites
Favorites
Menu

Committee OKs end to door-slot mail for millions


By Pauline Jelinek

WASHINGTON (AP) - Millions of Americans would no longer get mail delivered to their door but would have to go to communal or curbside boxes instead under a proposal advancing through Congress.

The Republican-controlled House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, on an 18-13 party-line vote, approved a bill Wednesday to direct the U.S. Postal Service to convert 15 million addresses over the next decade to the less costly, but also less convenient delivery method.

Democrats objected to the plan, and efforts in recent years to win its adoption have failed.

"I think it's a lousy idea," Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., said. Other lawmakers said it wouldn't work in urban areas where there's no place on city streets to put banks of "cluster boxes" with separate compartments for each address. People with disabilities who have difficulty leaving their homes could get waivers, and people who still want delivery to their door could pay extra for it - something Lynch derided as "a delivery tax."

The measure falls far short of a comprehensive overhaul most officials agree is needed to solve the postal service's financial problems. The committee's chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., acknowledged that at the outset but said it "provides an interim opportunity to achieve some significant cost savings."

Converting to communal or curbside delivery would save $2 billion annually, Issa said, quoting from estimates that door delivery costs $380 annually per address compared with $240 for curbside and $170 for centralized methods. He said less than 1 percent of all addresses nationwide would undergo a delivery change annually and that communal boxes offer a safe, locked location for packages, doing away with the need for carriers to leave packages on porches and subject to theft and bad weather.

The Postal Service reported a $1.9 billion loss for the first three months this year despite continued cost-cutting, a 2.3 percent rise in operating revenue and increased employee productivity. Package business has risen but the service struggles with inflationary cost increases and a continued decline in first-class mailing as people move to the Internet for letter writing and bill paying.

Postal officials have asked repeatedly for comprehensive legislation giving them more control over personnel and benefit costs and more flexibility in pricing and products. Though various legislative proposals have been advanced, Congress has not been able to agree on a bill with broad changes.

"Lawmakers should fix what they broke, not break what's working," National Association of Letter Carriers President Fredric Rolando said, referring to a 2006 law that requires the Postal Service to prefund its retiree health benefits. Meeting that requirement accounts for the bulk of the postal service's red ink. He said the Oversight Committee's bill is "irresponsible ... bad for the American public, bad for businesses, bad for the economy and bad for the U.S. Postal Service."

The Postal Service has been moving to more centralized delivery for some new addresses but hasn't done much to convert existing addresses, Issa said.

Join the discussion

1000|Characters 1000  Characters
waz up lou May 21 2014 at 8:49 PM

My Uncle Tony carried a bag for 30 years 5 days a week to the same "customers" in the
same neighborhood,the same town,the same time and you could set your watch knowing when he would walk your mail right up to your door or mail slot or box....and yes,he would ring your bell if he had a package (in his bag!..not a truck!),he would hand it to you personally...and you can bet that every Christmas his mail bag was as full of well deserved gifts at the end of his route as much as the mail he carried to your home....now that's what
we who know remember as being "THE MAILMAN" !!!......Nowadays,we're lucky to see or hear the same mail carrier more than twice a week!

Flag Reply +46 rate up
12 replies
tropicaldave498 May 21 2014 at 7:43 PM

Bad idea. Just another attempt by Republicans at an incremental step to ultimately destroy the Postal Service. Eliminating the massive prefunding of retiree health benefits is what needs to be done.

Flag Reply +45 rate up
22 replies
waz up lou May 21 2014 at 8:13 PM

How pathetic as this saga unfolds.....what used to be one of the most respectable,steady pensioned positions in the country is now a struggle for all the mail carriers as we have once again allowed "CORPORATE AMERICA" run our UNITED STATES POSTAL SYSTEM into
self destruction,while FEDEX,UPS and all the others thrive and lavish in their billions of dollars
in profits......another stain on the flag we fly proudly but fail to hail loudly !!!!!!!!!!

Flag Reply +37 rate up
9 replies
LarryBear1 May 21 2014 at 7:38 PM

whatever happened to stopping Saturday delivery. Better yet, how about Monday, Wednesday, Friday delivery or Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. Three days a week is enough to get junk mail.

Flag Reply +33 rate up
6 replies
mrdgtch39 May 21 2014 at 7:33 PM

Some people may be lazy & not walk to end of their driveway but a lot of people are incapacitated and cannot walk to end of their driveway. The largest growing demographic group in this country, at this time, are seniors. Many of those seniors are unable to "do the walk".

Flag Reply +32 rate up
12 replies
rdnappdaddy May 21 2014 at 8:11 PM

AS A FORMER LTR CAR THIS IS GOING TO BE A DISATER AND THEY KNOW IT. THESE GREEDY MEN IN CONGRESS HAVE NO CLUE WHAT IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN TO PEOPLES MAIL. THIS BOX GAME IS THE BEST WAY FOR THIEVES TO GET YOUR MAIL. DO THEY KNOW HOW MUCH MAIL IS STOLEN OUT OF THESE BOXES. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WILL SUFFER GREATLY FOR THIS, JUST WATCH AND SEE, TERRIBLE MOVE ON THOSE IN CHARGE.

Flag Reply +31 rate up
5 replies
penrosecottage May 21 2014 at 7:37 PM

I'm not lazy but I can not get to the end of my drive in the winter, MY wheel chair doesn't have 4 wheel drive, so what should I do pay for them to put my mail in the mail slot ? We have a cluster box at the end of the street but its just not safe to take my wheel chair out on the street to get my mail, So again our gov and the post office doesn't care about handicap people or seniors who have a hard time getting around.

Flag Reply +28 rate up
11 replies
leewass May 21 2014 at 8:04 PM

Another lousy idea from Issa, self-appointed grand inquisitor on the issue of Bengazi. Nary a word on that little incident in Iraq or Afghanistan, or the dozen or so embassy and consulate attacks during the administration of the great and brave and deeply Christian George Bush. Darrell Issa is to be commended for his single-minded pursuit of absolutely nothing that benefits the American people.

Flag Reply +17 rate up
5 replies
wizardsking May 21 2014 at 8:05 PM

Postal service is not owned by the government. any decisions should be made by the Postal Service.

Flag Reply +17 rate up
4 replies
Don E May 21 2014 at 7:48 PM

Is this wild idea of the right the best they have?

Flag Reply +9 rate up
1 reply
brenhatestwinkie Don E May 21 2014 at 8:28 PM

yep, and stiil clueless

Flag Reply +9 rate up
aol~~ 1209600

Voting...

1414297338639

World Series

More From Our Partners