January 29th, 2009
09:39 AM ET

Morning Buzz: You've Got Mail, But Only 5 Days a Week?

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Penny Manis
AC360° Senior Producer

President Barack Obama’s $819 billion dollar stimulus plan is on its way to the Senate after passing the House last night. No Republicans vote for it, and critics are skeptical it’ll kick-start the economy.
It’s not easy working out what is pork versus what translates into jobs, but it depends who you ask on Capitol Hill.

Critics say the plan will take too long to be considered a “stimulus” and that it’s filled with pet projects. One of the biggest flash points is $335 million dollars for STD Education, and other such examples exist in this bill. Ali Velshi will join us tonight to continue breaking it all down for us.

President Obama is pretty relentless: even after he got no Republican support for his bill, he hosted a cocktail party at the White House for lawmakers from both parties. Is he a charmer?!

The Senate version of the stimulus is approaching $900 billion dollars, and it’s hard to say how the House Republican party-line no vote will impact GOP Senators. A vote is likely next week in the Senate.

Today President Obama signs the Lily Ledbetter Bill designed to give women equal pay for equal work. Later in the afternoon he meets with Treasury Secretary Geithner, and then with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Ed Henry will be following his moves and give you the highlights tonight!

It seems the economic downturn is REALLY hitting everyone. The postmaster General told Congress it faces a $6 bn loss this year and warned that the postal service may reduce mail deliveries to 5 days a week if Congress does not allow it to restructure health benefits for postal workers.

Postmaster General John Potter said the postal service could stop deliveries on either Tuesdays or Saturdays during the summer if the change is not approved. The postal service has been required by federal law to deliver mail six days a week since 1983. Email, anyone?

More news (or entertainment, depending on how you look at it) from Governor Rod Blagojevich. The Illinois Senate today decides whether to allow him to speak at his impeachment trial, which he has avoided all week.

There are 3,140 counties in the U.S. Of all those counties, the most anti-Prez Obama county on Election Day was King County, Texas where he received just 8 votes. (The ten most anti-Prez Obama counties are all in Texas and Oklahoma.) Gary Tuchman traveled to the area to see how folks there feel about President Obama today, his results may surprise you!

See u tonight.

Filed under: Penny Manis • The Buzz
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    The post office can have Saturdays off for all I care – I never get any mail on Saturday anyway. I do think though if they are going to not provide service for a day that a commiserate cut in postal rates should occur with it. After all we are all hurting right now.

    January 29, 2009 at 9:29 pm |
  2. Francisco Garcia

    If there is a new stimulus tax rebate check for tax payers, are families where an ITIN (Individual tax identification number) going to be discriminated again like Bush did it last time? I am a professional tax preparer and I get to see sad families that didn’t get the rebate check because one or both parents hold an ITIN. Most kids in these families are USA citizens but they are not treated this way, they don’t get the Earn Income Credit just because one or both parents have an ITIN and they were disqualified for their $300 dls tax rebate. All this US citizens could be serving our Country in the Armed forces in the future just like any other citizen and they deserve to be treated equally. Hope Mr. Obama thinks about this and does something about it.

    January 29, 2009 at 7:12 pm |
  3. Lisa

    I'd be more concerned that my credit card payment was going to arrive on time. If it doesn't, up goes the interest rate – double or triple.

    I don't mind them cutting back to 5 days - just make sure my mail gets delivered or gets to me - preferably in a timely fashion . There's some money floating out there that hasn't made it to its intended recipient.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  4. Heather,ca

    You know its enough that I have to sometimes make multiple trips to see if the mail was delivered. Its enough that when I have the misfortune of having to go to the post office that the wait is forever because the postal workers go at a snails pace and dont care if people are standing in line for 30 minutes . Its enough that despite the website they dont offer the services that UPS or fedex offers. But when it comes down to regular mail like letters and bills etc, the post office is the only option. I think the postal service needs to be more competitive. They need to modernize and offer services that UPS and Fedex do. Great five days a week. I guess five business days will mean just that.

    January 29, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  5. Susan

    President Obama is sounding a lot like Henry Paulson did when he was pushing through the bailout bill. The word " crisis " is being used again in a effort to appropriate large amounts of taxpayor money without doing the due diligence needed.

    I am all for a stimulas package, but this current bill sounds as if it is a massive spending bill that will not really create that much in the way of stimulas to the economy. Where is the job CREATION in the bill ?
    Would it not it be a better use of OUR money if the stimulas package were to include re-training programs for laid off workers???


    January 29, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  6. jim Fallbrook CA

    Delvering mail 5 days a week would be a disaster. They would lose more in lost business on packages, Express and Priority mail. They should concentrate on the package business. The Post Office has a better network than the private sector for shipping packages. Being a government agency, they have to learn how to be more efficient.

    January 29, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  7. Carol B., Virginia

    Hi there! A penny for your thoughts. Sorry, that was annoying. As for President O., his cocktail party and "Isn't he a charmer?" Yes and no. I think he's a schmoozer. He's plying them with booze to break down their inhibitions so he can have his way with them, politically speaking. Anybody is more willing to listen to friend over foe and it's much harder to rag on anyone you host & roast with.There isn't many who agree with ALL aspects of the stimulus package so I think a lot of this needs to be accepted on a let's hope it sticks policy. Tough times.

    January 29, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  8. Bob Edwards, Charlotte, NC

    I've started my own stimulus package! Everytime I hear of a large corporate mega-layoff (GREED), I then shop, and will continue to shop at their competition if possible. For every Starbucks, there is a local coffee shop. Forevery Home Depot, there is another home improvement store, or local hardware store. For every HUGE BANK, there is a smaller bank, or credit union. For every Dell, there is a local PC store, or Gateway, etc. If everyone would do that, when the BIG BOYS crumble, the smaller, less greedy guys would grow, and need to hire pre-qualified employees from the greedy ones who went down with their filthy dollars in their filthy hands.


    January 29, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  9. Michelle

    Why is all of CNN's coverage focusing on the Repubs?
    The stimulus passed. President Obama is trying to fix
    things. Just look at those jobless claims, a record levels.
    Listening to the data from today, more layoffs, more jobless
    claims. One thing the economists agree on is spending.
    Polling show Americans back spending. The GOP proved
    the president right and end the end they will suffer the
    consequences. Serious times call for people to rise
    to the occasion. Tax cuts will fix nothing. We have been
    doing this for the last 8 years.As you can see that is
    really working. Not!!

    January 29, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  10. emschles

    Higher Ed & Cloud Computing ...... Hoping you'll do a story on this topic. Lots of wonderful information available (as of just yesterday) that talks about increasing efficiencies and delivering very significant cost savings for Higher Ed while providing students (probably the most savvy yet disenfranchised users on 'campus') tools they know how to work with while collaborating with one another and doing business with their schools(sorry for the run on sentence). I believe it fits into the coverage regarding the President's stimulus package/infrastructure, etc.

    Should you have interest in learning more please reach out so I may assist in any way you feel would be appropriate. Thanks!


    Ed Schlesinger

    January 29, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  11. Michael "C" Lorton,Virginia

    Valant effort on the President's part--–but I fear it is too little and it is to late to reverse the slumping economy. Let's hope that self-correction works.

    January 29, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  12. Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX

    Hi Penny!
    I don't care if the postal service wants an extra day off. There goes the jobs for the substitute mail carriers though. We all will have to scale back and work harder.

    January 29, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  13. Michelle D. Fonthill,Ont

    Good Morning Penny

    I am afraid of trying to be hopeful about this plan . There is no unity among the Gop and Democrats it's will take a long time to have any effect on jobs.They need to cut the salaries on government officals then it would eliminate the execsive money that is wasted on the upper class . It 's hurting even the mail delieveries technology is taking over that's not a good thing either many people aren't familliar with computers or don't have one what are they supposed to do ? You got mail? Email or just plain old letters ?

    January 29, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  14. EJ (USA)

    I'm too sleepy to stay awake today. I need to cut the number of days in the week that I'm awake in the morning. Too bad this won't save me any money.

    January 29, 2009 at 10:27 am |
  15. EJ (USA)

    who wants to get bills on saturdays anyway?

    But you can also get movies and gifts on Saturday.

    January 29, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  16. Stephanie Mitchell

    who wants to get bills on saturdays anyway?

    January 29, 2009 at 9:40 am |
  17. Isabel, RJ, Brazil

    Obama celebrated its first major legislative victory.

    Penny, David or Anderson, I ask:

    And we can celebrate, too?
    And we will feel the improvements?

    January 29, 2009 at 9:18 am |
  18. Cindy

    I'm very critical of Obama's stimulus package also. I just don't see it moving the economy any faster along to getting better. I don't see that it will create enough jobs and what not in the short term to help like he is saying it will. Plus I totally agree with the reps that there are just way too many pet projects in it. I mean I thought they were going to start cutting out the pork!? So what's up with some of the crap being in there that they are allowing or wanting to be in it. It seems like to me that this is filled with pay back money from the dems for them getting re-elected.

    Well if the mail isn't going to be delivered for only five days a week then it's really going to back up on everything being delivered. And if they are getting an extra day off then shouldn't they get a small pay cut!?


    January 29, 2009 at 9:18 am |
  19. Isabel, RJ, Brazil

    I really am afraid of both optimism!
    I hope my fear is in vain. And the stimulus package is a success.

    Economic plan approved! Infrastructure, education, energy efficiency, tax incentives and, mostly,

    Retain unemployment, generating up to 4 million jobs.
    I just hope that those who still have their jobs, continue with it. And who lost, who succeeds another job, even better.

    January 29, 2009 at 9:16 am |
  20. Jennifer

    I hope that Congress will allow the postal service to restructure the benefits. But. . . I also hope that they do cut out Saturdays! Increasing the amounts of stamps and other services is only preventing people from using the postal service, cost of service is going have to decrease.

    January 29, 2009 at 9:11 am |
  21. Lori

    How about a freeze on raises for All government officials. Or better yet lets cut their pay/hours. Divide that among the rest of the american people. After all many american families have no income...this would be "share the wealth" right?! Does the mall really need re-seeding...as the country goes belly up is it comforting to know the national mall will look good in the end. Our gov't officials don't know what it is like to go with out. If they had to step out of the box and live like the rest of us maybe the ideas in Washington would be about REAL change that could benefit the american people.

    January 29, 2009 at 9:05 am |