From Government Executive

A key House committee has once again voted to block the U.S. Postal Service from eliminating Saturday delivery, attaching an amendment to a spending bill that would require the agency to deliver mail six days per week.

The amendment, introduced with bipartisan support by Reps. Jose Serrano, D-N.Y., and Tom Latham, R-Iowa, was approved easily by the full Appropriations Committee after a subcommittee omitted the mandatory delivery language during its markup last week. The six-day rider has been included in every postal-related appropriations bill since 1983.

Several members of the committee from both parties spoke during Wednesday’s markup in support of the amendment. Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla., chairman of the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee and author of the original spending bill, was the only member to rise in opposition to the amendment.

Crenshaw said dropping Saturday mail delivery would provide USPS with significant savings, but did not offer strong resistance.

“I will vote no, but I encourage you all to vote your conscience,” he told the committee members.

Supporters of the amendment — and, therefore, six-day delivery — used many of the same arguments voiced by postal unions and lawmakers opposed to cutting service: job loss.  – the full impact of which has been debated;  hurting elderly and rural postal customers; and the possibility of ultimately causing more harm than good.

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