Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Postal Service defers to Congress on Saturday mail for now; issue remains in play

After months of pushing for an end to Saturday delivery of mail other than packages, the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors temporarily backed off on its plans Wednesday, saying the recently passed stopgap budget prohibits the move, Josh Hicks reports for The Washington Post. Saturday mail will continue until at least Sept. 30, when the stopgap expires, but the board said it still hopes to end Saturday mail after that date, Donna Leinward Leger and Doug Stanglin report for USA Today.

The board's statement said it believes "Congress has left it with no choice but to delay this implementation at this time," Hicks reports. "Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe announced in February that the Postal Service planned to halt Saturday mail delivery — but not Saturday parcel delivery — starting in August. He said the move would save the agency $2 billion a year. The Postal Service lost $15.9 billion last year."

"Members of both parties who represent rural districts praised the latest Postal Service move," Carolyn Phenicie reports for CQ Roll Call (subscription only).

We wrote about the issue when Congress passed a continuing resolution to keep the government running through September and here when House Republicans gave the green light to deliver only packages on Saturdays, here and here when the House was considering, and then passed, a resolution requiring six-day delivery, here when the postal service claimed only small newspapers would be affected by eliminating Saturday mail, and also covered the issue here, here, here, and here.

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