The Association for Postal Commerce, commonly called Postcom, posted this little item on its Web site this week:
"Oh I heard it -- Heard It -- Yes, I heard it through the grapevine. . . ." ♫♪
Hey PRC, have you got your ears on? Key sectors on Capitol Hill are very unhappy with the fact the the Commission's long-awaited report on 5-Day Delivery has yet to be delivered. People are questioning the wisdom of providing the Commission with any further regulatory discretion. You got to move it move it.
The message is directed to the Postal Regulatory Commission, which is still weighing the U.S. Postal Service's request last March for an advisory opinion on ending Saturday delivery. Such a change would require Congressional approval, but Congressional leaders have indicated the proposal will go nowhere without (and perhaps even with) the PRC's blessing.
The PRC held months of hearings, received thousands of comments and then heard final arguments from lawyers in October. The PRC received elaborate projections regarding the billions of dollars that dropping Saturday delivery would save, but it seemed troubled by uncertainty regarding how much revenue would be lost.
The PRC originally indicated it wanted to issue an opinion by the end of November, but it got swamped by other issues, including the USPS appeal of the PRC's rejection of exigent rate increases and a need to interpret how to calculate the price cap for most postage rates in light of deflation.
There's also a question of relevance, given PRC Chairman Ruth Goldway's recent comment that the budget proposal President Obama will unveil next week addresses "major financial concerns in the Postal Service."
The Postal Service would not need to end Saturday delivery if the budget lifts the two anchors weighing down USPS's finances -- what are euphemistically referred to as prepaid retiree benefits and overpayments for pensions. If those two Postal Service subsidies of the federal government (that's right, the Postal Service has been bailing out the federal government, not vice-versa) were corrected, the Postal Service would be profitable.