The Post Office Is Tired of Begging Congress for Attention

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


The Postal Service announced today that it plans to end Saturday delivery starting on August 1. Congress hasn’t actually approved this or anything, but apparently USPS is going to do it anyway and dare Congress to stop them. I like Felix Salmon’s take on this:

The organization does actually have a detailed plan for becoming fully self-reliant over the next few years…The big problem is simple, but huge: Congress isn’t playing along, and instead is just making matters worse, unhelpfully micromanaging everything from postage rates to delivery schedules to health-care contributions.

That’s why I love the idea of the Post Office doing something that’s clearly illegal, putting the ball squarely in Congress’s court…Today’s announcement says to me that relations between the Post Office and Congress have deteriorated so much that the Post Office has given up on getting Congressional buy-in for its plans. At the same time, the plans are necessary (sufficient is a different question) if the Post Office is going to survive for decades to come. And so the Post Office is just going ahead with what needs to be done, and has decided to treat Congress as an adversary, rather than as a key partner in its evolution.

Trillion dollar coins, recess appointments, endless filibusters, debt ceiling hostage taking, and now the Post Office telling Congress to take a hike. Maybe this is our future: Congress has become so dysfunctional that other agencies are going to start shrugging their shoulders and just getting on with business. If Congress wants to stop them, let ’em try. At least it will force them to pay attention.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest