Sen. Bob Corker said Tuesday that when it came to congressionally funding the United States Postal Service, lawmakers were "wanting to have our cake and eat it too."
Corker had co-sponsored an amendment with Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., that would have struck language from an upcoming government funding bill to require the USPS to administer mail delivery six days per week. The move, supported by Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, would have saved the service—which reported a loss of nearly $16 billion in the last yearly cycle alone—an estimated $2 billion in costs a year.
Upon receiving news that the amendment would not be considered, the senator and former Chattanooga mayor called the development a "missed opportunity."
"We all know that we need to allow the Postal Service the flexibility to make necessary reforms and cut costs so it can operate more efficiently and effectively, and yet Congress continues to stand in the way," Corker said. "This is a missed opportunity to enable the Postal Service to enact reforms it sees are necessary to reduce risk for taxpayers."
Last month, USPS officials announced their plans to eliminate Saturday mail delivery. Losing an estimated $25 million per day, the entity had planned to make the move without seeking congressional approval.
The suggestion to eliminate Saturday mail has also been met with criticism from lawmakers. According to a Washington Post report, two Democratic senators "scolded" USPS leaders after they did not explain how the $2 billion figure was determined for savings by discontinuing mail on Saturdays.
Corker and Coburn's proposal was also the focus of a Wall Street Journal editorial Monday.