A spending measure passed by the House (on March 6) to keep the government operating through September requires that the Postal Service maintain a six-day mail-delivery schedule, a potential setback for the agency, which announced last month that it planned to drop Saturday delivery to cut costs.
The legislation passed the House 267-151, with 137 Democrats voting against it. The Senate is expected to pass its own spending measure.
Faced with billions of dollars in losses, Postal Service officials said the service would stop delivering mail on Saturdays beginning in August, although it would continue to deliver packages on a six-day schedule. The agency said cutting Saturday delivery would save about $2 billion a year.
The agency lost about $15.9 billion last year, partly the result of a 2006 law requiring it to pay about $5.5 billion into a health-benefits fund for its future retirees. A drop in mail volume also is to blame.
The move to end Saturday mail delivery was condemned by some lawmakers, unions and postal customers.