Murkowski Testifies on Proposed Reduction in Mail Delivery

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today testified before the Postal Regulatory Commission on the proposed plan by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to eliminate Saturday mail services.

The USPS has proposed eliminating Saturday mail delivery as part of an effort to balance its budget. In reviewing the USPS proposal, the Postal Regulatory Commission held a series of public hearings across the lower 48 this summer to receive customer feedback about this proposed change. In advance of these hearings, Sen. Murkowski, along with Sen. Begich and Hawaii Sens. Inouye and Akaka wrote a letter to the Commission asking that hearings be held in Alaska and Hawaii in order to hear concerns from postal customers in these states about the proposed changes. The Commission chose not to hold hearings in Alaska and Hawaii, but invited Sen. Murkowski to testify before the Commission in Washington.

Below are excerpts from Sen. Murkowski’s testimony, as prepared for delivery (Her full statement is attached):

On the lack of hearings held by the Postal Regulatory Commission outside the lower 48 in Alaska or Hawaii:

“As you are aware, mail delivery in Alaska and Hawaii is very different from the other 48 states, as is our constituents’ reliance on that mail delivery for basic and necessary items. The information you received from the hearings held in large, lower 48 cities will bear little relevance to the conditions and concerns of many of the people of our states…I am here today to advocate on behalf of Alaskans.”

On the importance of Saturday mail delivery in Alaska:

“The U.S. Postal Service is literally a lifeline for the many Alaskans who do not have access to a pharmacy in their community where the only way to receive antibiotics, insulin, or other medications and medical devices is through the mail. Even Alaskans who do live in communities with a local pharmacy rely on prescriptions by mail because their insurance plans incentivize this practice as a cheaper alternative.”

# # #