Tester: Senate panel keeps Saturday mail delivery

Senator pushed to keep vital service for rural America

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) –  The Senate panel that oversees the budget of the U.S. Postal Service will not consider cutting mail delivery to five days per week, Senator Jon Tester announced today.

Tester used his position as a member of the Senate Financial Services Appropriations Subcommittee to push for continued Saturday service, because people who live in rural areas rely on Saturday delivery for essential deliveries like medications, newspapers, and checks.

The USPS was considering a proposal to stop Saturday delivery service to homes and businesses in an attempt to cut costs.  But Tester said the move would amount to relatively small savings and cost hundreds of jobs in Montana alone.

 “Folks in rural and frontier communities often rely on their Saturday mail to bring them the things they need to live,” Tester said.  “Unlike in urban areas where folks can walk down the block to the local drug store, many Montanans live long distances from the nearest pharmacy or newsstand. Getting mail six-days per week is part of what keeps rural America strong and thriving.”

Testers said the decision to keep Saturday service is part of the Senate’s Fiscal Year 2011 Financial Services Appropriations Act, which the full Appropriations Committee will vote on Thursday.

Tester said as a child, he remembered hearing from a 93-year old woman about her life experiences and how important rural mail service was to her. The woman told Tester that she had lived through two world wars and the invention of the automobile, airplane and spaceflight. She said that after all of those experiences, the thing she was most thankful for was reliable rural postal delivery service.

Tester is a powerful advocate for rural postal services.  In recent years he pushed the USPS to keep open post offices in Kinsey and Black Eagle, and to maintain postal delivery service in Martin City.