Column by Senator Susan Collins, from Foster's:
The United States Postal Service (USPS) has traditionally prided itself on the fact that "neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night" can keep its carriers from the "swift completion of their appointed rounds." That is why I was astonished to hear that the USPS is considering reducing mail delivery from six days a week to just five.
Postmaster General John Potter recently made this unexpected recommendation during a hearing before a subcommittee of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, of which I am the ranking member. The purpose of this hearing was to examine the impact of the current economic crisis on the U.S. Postal Service.
There is no doubt that the recession is affecting virtually every sector of our economy, including the postal service. The statistics are alarming. Maine's unemployment rate hit a 16-year high of seven percent at year's end, with widespread job losses in the retail, forest products, construction, boatbuilding, publishing, and hospitality industries.
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