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U.S. Postal Service Delays Five Day Delivery Plan

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The U.S. Postal Service this week announced that it will delay its plan to cut mail delivery to five days, to at least September 30, saying "restrictive language" in Congress' temporary government funding resolution prohibits the new schedule. A measure passed by Congress last month to fund government operations while the budget remains in limbo included language that barred the U.S. Postal Service from changing its delivery schedule. The five-day delivery plan was to have started August 5.

Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe had said that eliminating Saturday mail delivery would save the Postal Service some $2 billion a year and is a critical part of a five-year-plan to make the postal service solvent. The agency reported that it lost almost $16 billion last year, due in part to a 2006 congressional mandate requiring it to pre-pay 75 years worth of retiree benefits within a decade.

Last month, however, the measure passed by the House to fund the government through September requires six-day Postal Service delivery for the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends September. 30. The Postal Service said it will hold off on the plan "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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