House Tells Postal Service to Keep Six-Day Delivery

Wednesday, 06 Mar 2013 10:51 PM

By Paul Scicchitano

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The Republican-controlled House sent a “clear” message to the U.S. Postal Service on Wednesday: You must maintain a six-day delivery schedule — at least for the time being.

“The continuing resolution is clear: there will be six-day delivery for the rest of the fiscal year,” Democratic Rep. José E. Serrano of New York told The New York Times. “Earlier this year the Postal Service announced they thought they had legal authority to end Saturday delivery. That analysis was wrong, but now there is no room for misunderstanding.”

The legislation passed by a margin of 267 to 151, with 137 Democrats voting against it. It will now be taken up by the Democrat-controlled Senate, the Times reports.

In February, the Postal Service said that it lost $1.3 billion in the quarter ended Dec. 31 despite cutting costs 9.8 percent as Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe called on Congress to authorize changes in its business model to halt unsustainable losses.

Cost savings and a 4.7 percent increase in shipping and package revenue offset a 3.1 percent drop in first-class mail revenue from the same period last year, when the post office lost $3.3 billion. Total revenue held steady at about $17.7 billion during the first quarter, the post office’s strongest period because of holiday mailings.

The Postal Service released financial results two days after Donahoe said he would end Saturday mail delivery without Congress’s approval if necessary, pressing lawmakers to act on legislation to restore the post office’s financial viability.

Donahoe said Feb. 6 that ending Saturday delivery of all mail except packages in August would save $2 billion a year.

The post office wants to cut $20 billion of annual costs and says it can’t do it without congressional action.

Bloomberg News contributed to this report.

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