Saturday Mail Delivery Is Saved ... for Now  

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 10 2013 12:32 PM

Saturday Mail Delivery Is Saved ... for Now   

Customers fill in address information on packages at the United States Post Office at Rincon Center on Dec. 17, 2012, in San Francisco.
Customers fill in address information on packages at the United States Post Office at Rincon Center on Dec. 17, 2012, in San Francisco.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The U.S. Postal Service won't be able to drop Saturday mail delivery in August after all, thanks to a Continuing Resolution passed by Congress that preserves a prohibition against cutting delivery days.

The USPS Board of Governors made the decision Tuesday after evaluating the new stopgap budget. In a Wednesday statement, the board explained that they'd obey the law, even if they're not terribly pleased with it:

"By including restrictive language in the Continuing Resolution, Congress has prohibited implementation of a new national delivery schedule for mail and packages, which would consist of package delivery Monday through Saturday and mail delivery Monday through Friday, and which would have taken effect the week of Aug. 5, 2013. Although disappointed with this Congressional action, the Board will follow the law and has directed the Postal Service to delay implementation of its new delivery schedule until legislation is passed that provides the Postal Service with the authority to implement a financially appropriate and responsible delivery schedule."
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The USPS isn't taxpayer-supported, but it is subject to congressional control. And while the end of Saturday mail would be a notable break from tradition, the Postal Service's staggering budget woes make the idea more appealing: The mail agency lost a record $15.9 billion last year. Ending Saturday mail delivery would have saved $2 billion annually.

Abby Ohlheiser is a Slate contributor.