On Wednesday, the National Grange blasted Congress for its failure to provide reforms for a struggling United States Postal Service following an announcement by USPS that the agency will no longer deliver mail on Saturdays, yet continue delivering packages.
In recent months, the National Grange - America's oldest advocacy organization for rural America and agriculture - has encouraged Congress to relieve the USPS of their requirement to prepay future retiree health benefits, a mandate that costs the USPS $5 billion annually, as well as liberate the USPS to a private entity, free of congressional control.
"For several years now, our legislators in Washington have watched the Postal Service spiral into financial ruin and done little to stop this inevitable downfall. This comes as no shock to the American people who are growing increasingly frustrated with Congress' lack of action towards anything," National Grange President Ed Luttrell said Wednesday. "The Grange has strongly urged USPS to continue six-day-a-week mail service so rural Americans - who often don't have access to high-speed internet used by those in urban and suburban areas to conduct professional and personal business -wouldn't suffer."
National Grange Legislative Director Grace Boatright said elderly Americans living in rural areas could stand to lose the most should more drastic steps be taken or requested by the USPS to remedy its failing financial condition.
"The postal service provides delivery of medicines for many of our citizens in remote areas or who are less-than-agile, along with delivery of medications for livestock. Without dramatic reform from Congress, the USPS may be forced to continue eliminating much-needed services," Boatright said.
Boatright said the Grange has a long and storied history in supporting rural mail delivery and considers this a key issue of equitability and access for rural Americans.