Postmaster general considers bringing budget axe down on Alaska’s bypass mail

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy says he’s considering cutting Alaska’s Bypass Mail program to save money.

”Take the Alaska Bypass plan discussion. That’s an an item on the table. That’s an unfunded mandate. It costs us like $500 million a year,” DeJoy told the Senate Homeland Security Committee Friday. “What I asked for was all the unfunded mandates. That’s a way for us to get healthy. Pay something for the unfunded mandates.”

Bypass mail is a program that has subsidized cargo shipments to rural Alaska since 1972. It allows delivery of everything from lumber to lettuce to small communities at low postal rates. The palletized shipments bypass all postal facilities but the airlines are paid by the postal service. Alaska’s congressional delegation argues the program is vital to supporting rural Alaska.

The costs of the program is usually pegged at about $100 million a year. Bypass mail is a frequent target of budget cutters.

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