NPR : News

Filed Under:

Postal Service Will Keep Saturday Mail Delivery After All

The U.S. Postal Service has backed off a plan to halt Saturday mail delivery, saying that Congress has forced it to continue the service despite massive cost overruns.

In a statement released Wednesday, the USPS Board of Governors said restrictive language included in the latest Continuing Resolution, which keeps the government operating until September in lieu of a budget, prevents it from going ahead with the plan.

In February, the Postal Service announced it would end regular mail delivery on Saturdays beginning Aug. 5 in an effort to stanch the red ink in its budget. It planned to continue package deliveries on Saturday.

The Postal Service board says Congress "has left ... no choice but to delay implementation" of the five-day-a-week plan for mail delivery.

Last year, the USPS lost a record $15 billion, pushing it toward insolvency.

According to The New York Times:

"The agency's financial reports show that mail volume continues to decline as Americans increasingly turn to electronic forms of communication. Total mail volume was 159.9 billion pieces, down 5 percent from 168.3 billion pieces a last year. Operating revenue was $65.2 billion, down from $65.7 billion over the same period."

As NPR's Yuki Noguchi, explains, the dilemma for the Postal Service is that it's not taxpayer funded, but is governed by Congress:

"It competes against UPS and FedEx, but cannot cut costs or make big changes without congressional approval," Noguchi says. "And it's one of the largest employers in the country and the only organization with a requirement to fully pre-fund its retirement plan decades into the future — a financial burden that is forcing it into insolvency."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

National Museum of African American History Opens Its Doors

More than 100 years after it was originally proposed, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is opening its doors in Washington, D.C.
NPR

While Everyone Was Partying At Woodstock, I Was Stuck At Schrafft's

The chain restaurant that catered to women helped redefine how Americans eat, according to a new book. For NPR's Lynn Neary, it also defined how she did and didn't fit with the counterculture.
NPR

Newspaper Endorsements Matter Most When They're Unexpected

The New York Times endorsed Hillary Clinton on Saturday, but an endorsement that came the day before from a smaller paper may matter more to its readers, for the simple fact that it was unexpected.
NPR

As Our Jobs Are Automated, Some Say We'll Need A Guaranteed Basic Income

How will the economy provide economic opportunities if employers need fewer workers in the future? A growing number of people in Silicon Valley are saying the only realistic answer is a basic income.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.