By Bill McAllister, Washington Correspondent
Slower mail has survived a challenge from members of the House Appropriations Committee.
Thanks to a maneuver by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, the full House on July 6 rejected the committee’s effort to require the United States Postal Service to return to the delivery standards it used prior to 2012.
The vote was a victory for postal management, which claimed the change would have cost the USPS $1.5 billion a year to implement.
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Former Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe had ordered a slowdown in mail deliveries to save money for the financially troubled Postal Service.
His successor had argued that the USPS could not afford to return to the old delivery standards, which included overnight deliveries of first-class mail in metropolitan areas.
Chaffetz, who chairs a House committee that oversees the USPS, came to the Postal Service’s support during a debate on a spending bill.
The Utah Republican raised a point of order, arguing that mail delivery standards should not be a part of the spending bill.
House Republicans, largely on a party line vote, agreed, killing the amendment.
The appropriations panel had unanimously approved the amendment June 9 at the urging of Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio.
She called the House vote “a setback for restoring improved mail delivery.”
Chaffetz has sponsored separate legislation to deal with the Postal Service’s on-going financial troubles.