WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service will continue Saturday home delivery of mail until Congress says otherwise.
The Postal Service announced Wednesday that its Board of Governors has decided it has no choice but to follow a recently approved congressional mandate to continue the service that postal officials had contemplated ending as a cost-savings measure.
In announcing the board’s Tuesday decision, the Postal Service expressed its frustration with being denied the ability to implement a new delivery schedule – barring Saturday letter delivery – that officials had hoped would take effect in August.
“I’m pleased to see the U.S. Postal Service has taken my advice and withdrawn its plan to end Saturday mail delivery,” Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., said Wednesday. “Instead of cutting mail services for rural communities and seniors, the USPS should consider eliminating costly conferences in San Francisco and cutting executive bonuses. I hope we can now get back to work on a commonsense reform bill that keeps the USPS viable.”
Congress approved legislation last month that included a specific measure restricting the Postal Service from changing its delivery schedule.
The Postal Service estimates that it would save $2 billion a year by eliminating Saturday mail delivery. USPS still planned to deliver packages six days a week.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, expressed disappointment with the decision to modify Saturday delivery.
“This reversal significantly undercuts the credibility of postal officials who have told Congress that they were prepared to defy political pressure and make difficult but necessary cuts,” Issa said in a statement.