Both the Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation that blocks the U.S. Postal Service’s plan to halt Saturday delivery of periodicals, first-class and standard mail. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) also determined this week that the USPS is bound by the ruling, due to the financial support provided by the U.S. Government.
The legislation is a continuing resolution that preserves mandatory six-day mail delivery. The USPS argues its plan still adheres to the law because it will be maintaining package and Priority Mail deliveries.
Prior to Congress’s resolution, the USPS was planning to carry out its scheduling changes in August, however there now seems to be uncertainties going forward.
The continuing resolution still needs final approval from President Obama. Once in place, the USPS must decipher the language within the provision and determine how it effects its planned schedule changes. In other words, the USPS may still be upholding the law by altering its six-day service.
As it stands, the USPS is losing approximately $25 million dollars a day. It’s reported that scaling back Saturday delivery will save the government-funded private entity upwards of $2 billion annually. Eliminating Saturday delivery is one step towards closing a $20 billion budget gap by 2016.
It is also important to note that several public polls support the USPS’s decision to scale back its Saturday delivery. However, this it is likely not a sentiment weekly magazine publishers share, as it means tighter editorial schedules.