By Melanie Batley
Mail delivery to the doorstep may be a thing of the past as lawmakers consider ways to cut costs to save the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service, which lost $16 billion in 2012.
According to CNN Money, the agency is working toward a more "centralized delivery" approach in which residents pick up their mail from a mailbox at the curb or at clusters of mailboxes within their neighborhoods.
The practice already is being adopted for new houses and developments, and some House Republicans want it rolled out universally.
"A balanced approach to saving the Postal Service means allowing USPS to adapt to America's changing use of mail," said Rep. Darrell Issa, the California Republican leading the House effort to save the Postal Service.
Doing away with doorstep delivery has become a central part of Issa's proposal to save money. Ending door-to-door deliveries would save $4.5 billion a year from the $30 billion the mail service currently spends on delivery.
How? Right now, 35 million residences and businesses get mail delivered to their doorstep. CNN reports that it costs $353 per stop for a delivery in most American cities, taking into account such things as salaries and cost of transport.
Curbside-mailbox delivery costs $224, and cluster boxes cost $160, according to a report from the Postal Service Office of Inspector General cited by CNN.
In addition to the $16 billion lost by the agency last year, it twice defaulted on payments owed to the federal government to prefund retiree healthcare benefits totaling $11 billion. The agency also has exhausted a $15 billion line of credit from the U.S. Treasury.
Nevertheless, the plan has received criticism from unions, which say it would be disruptive for the elderly and disabled, and from others who claim it would be inconvenient and possibly unsafe.
"It's madness," Jim Sauber, chief of staff for the National Association of Letter Carriers, told CNN. "The idea that somebody is going to walk down to their mailbox in Buffalo, N.Y., in the winter snow to get their mail is just crazy."
Others, such as industry groups, support the idea as an alternative to the proposal of cutting Saturday service, which the service floated earlier this year before reversing the decision.
The Postal Service also continues to struggle with mail volume, especially drops in first-class mail, its big revenue driver, as more Americans move to electronic bill-pay and e-mail.
To many critics, the service has become little more than a junk-mail delivery service.
This sucks big time and Issa spends billions and billions of taxpayer monies on phishing expeditions against Obama. Some of it is legitimate and I really wonder about these scandals as Obama dubbed them phoney yesterday.
how dare he spend billions on phishing expeditions which sometimes amounted to making a mountain out of a mole hill as there was very little there and he is not doing service to this country which is in deep trouble. Wasting money and valuable time on these phishing expeditions which go on far too long. If he had REAL evidence, it would not cost time and money.
Yet, he wants to end the USPS home delivery of mail, what about seniors, disabled and people who work all day.
This guy sucks big time and I am stating he is a creep and I hope he loses his seat.
I will think long and hard and really scrutinize who I vote for in 2014 and 2016. Who needs arse holes like this????
another article on Issa's lame attempts to deny American citizens home mail delivery service.
Ironically, leave it the GOP to come up with this one. Democrats are fighting it and I don't blame them one bit.
This is why many people hate republicans as they are not for the people, I am so mad right now!
This jerk wastes BILLIONS on phishing expeditions which amount to nothing in the end.
I do think Benghazi is legitimate but there are no witnesses to verify the account that night.
The rest is complete phishing as he has little evidence and he hopes to uncover something by poking here and there which costs billions of taxpayer's dollars.
And the gaul to end the USPS mail delivery system is absurd. This will hurt the GOP, believe me.