Attorneys General and the Postal Service’s Expected September 1 Mail Slowdown

Barring intervention by state Attorneys General (AGs) by September 1, mail delivery in the United States will soon take longer than it has in 50 years and slow even further. This will be particularly burdensome to senior citizens, the disabled, and rural Americans.

As part of its 10-year strategic plan, the U.S. Postal Service wants to slow mail delivery on 40 percent of first-class mail. In a July 20 Advisory Opinion, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) raised strong concerns with the proposal, including a lack of testing and minimal cost savings. At the end of the day, the PRC’s opinion is strictly advisory, and its options are limited should USPS disregard that advice.

The U.S. Postal Service’s Board of Governors, which approved the 10-year strategic plan, is unlikely to undo the mail slowdown. While bipartisan postal reform legislation has been introduced in the House and Senate, it does not address this matter.

Which brings us back to the AGs, many of whom in August 2020 also sued the U.S. Postal Service for mail delays that were a pittance compared to what will happen soon, and become permanent.

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