Congress to USPS: No Saturdays Off

WASHINGTON, DC—While Congress doesn’t appear to be in any hurry to pass postal reform to keep the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service (USPS) in business, it apparently doesn’t want Mr. ZIP to take the entire weekend off, either.

On Thursday, Congress put the kibosh on USPS’ plan to eliminate Saturday delivery, passing up the chance to allow the Postal Service to save what it claims would be $2 billion a year, and despite overwhelming public support behind the now-killed measure.

Congress has always included a provision in legislation to fund the federal government each year that has prevented the USPS from reducing its delivery schedule. The USPS had asked Congress not to include the provision this year, but the Senate and House of Representatives approved legislation that included the provision. President Obama was expected to sign it.

Lawmakers who have backed the USPS’ plan to eliminate Saturday delivery think it may still be possible, since the language is vague and does not prohibit altering what products it delivers on Saturdays. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) told the USPS Board of Governors to move forward with implementing the five-day delivery plan, saying the Board “has a fiduciary responsibility to utilize its legal authority to implement modified six-day mail delivery…”

The USPS is projected to run out of money by October if Congress does not provide legislative relief.

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