U.S. Lawmakers Push to Block Postal Service Plan to Cut Saturday Delivery
Lawmakers moved yesterday to block plans by the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service to save billions of dollars by eliminating mail delivery service on Saturdays.
A pair of congressional panels approved legislation mandating the agency continue to offer six-day delivery amid complaints reduced service would inconvenience the public and result in layoffs. Lawmakers said the Postal Service has other ways of filling its budget hole.
“There are several steps that can be taken before we decide to go to five-day service,” said Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, the chamber’s deputy Democratic leader. “There’s a question about whether they overpaid into their pension system and we haven’t resolved that -- and that’s a big amount of money. It’s billions.”
Postal Service spokesman Gerald Washington said in an e- mailthat the five-day proposal “is an important part” of the agency’s “action plan for the future,” and “we expect that the plan will be given full consideration by the Congress at the appropriate time.”
The agency has said it could lose $7 billion this year, as the public moves more of its business online, and that eliminating Saturday delivery -- its lowest volume day of the week -- could say $3 billion annually. It has offered six-day service since 1863.
The provisions were included in annual spending bills approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee and the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services.