A plan from House Republicans to buoy the nearly-empty highway trust fund with savings from eliminating Saturday mail delivery has struck many observers as an odd idea — a budget accounting trick that would finance road projects by preventing a future bailout of the U.S. Postal Service.
But the top postal official says he couldn’t be more pleased.
“We not only need five-day delivery,” Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said in an interview. “But I would say, if this was able to help take the angst out of the [broader postal] legislation for some lawmakers, that would help us out.”
Donahoe has long pushed to eliminate Saturday delivery of letters, a service cut that’s estimated to save the financially strapped mail agency about $2 billion a year (some Democrats, labor unions and postal regulators have questioned whether the savings could be that high).
Last year, frustrated that Congress has been unable to reach consensus on a broad package of reforms to stabilize postal finances, Donahoe tried and failed to do an end run around lawmakers and move ahead with five-day delivery on his own.