Burton to Bush: Do Something About the USPS

Washington–In a letter sent April 23, Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN), requested that President Bush develop a long-term solution to the U.S. Postal Service’s financial problems “without having to resort to increasing rates or reducing the quality or affordability of universal mail service.” Burton, who chairs the House Committee on Government Reform, pointed out that the USPS recently was added to the the General Accounting Office’s “high risk” list of federal programs and operations that are in danger of severe management and control breakdowns.

The USPS recently projected that it will lose $2 billion-$3 billion this year and up to $3.5 billion next year. In his letter to the president, Burton expressed concern over the USPS Board of Governors’ recent call to explore the possibility of eliminating one mail delivery day from the week. “Clearly change is needed,” Burton wrote, “and your leadership in this area would be critical to the enactment of any meaningful reforms.”

In reaction to the letter, former Postal Rate Commission chairman Ed Gleiman, who is heading a postal reform effort for the Direct Marketing Association, said in a statement that the DMA considers Burton’s initiative “to be a jump-start to a very long and overdue process building on the efforts of Rep. John McHugh (R-NY) over the past several years.” McHugh authored several versions of the Postal Reform Act and Postal Modernization Act since 1996, although none made it to the floor of the House.

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