: U.S. Postal Service employee Netza Suastegui delivers the mail in Los Angeles, California. A House commitee has passed a bill that would prevent the USPS from ending Saturday mail delivery, which the service had proposed as a cost-cutting measure. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images)
The Postal Service would be barred from ending Saturday mail delivery under legislation passed by the House Appropriations Committee June 25.
The Postal Service has said it could save $2 billion by ending the delivery of letters on Saturday. The Postal Regulatory Commission and other groups dispute that number, and Rep. Jose Serrano, D-N.Y., who introduced the amendment, said it would result in a net loss.
“Eliminating Saturday mail delivery would be penny wise and pound foolish. There is no indication that getting rid of 6 day delivery will somehow allow the Postal Service to return to sustainability,” Serrano said.
The Postal Service has been lobbying for several years for a major overhaul, including the ability to end Saturday letter delivery, while expanding package delivery to the entire week and flexibility to change prices and add new products in the future while closing underused post offices. The agency also wants to further reduce its workforce and remove the requirement to prefund its retiree health benefits to the tune of about $5.6 billion a year.
The amendment was added to the 2015 Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill, which now moves to the full House for consideration.
Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa, who co-sponsored the amendment, said six-day mail delivery was important to rural areas and for people who rely on the mail for medications.
“While the USPS absolutely needs to continue steps to improve cost saving measures, those steps should not come at the expense of providing for the Iowans and all other Americans who rely upon routine postal delivery,” Latham said.