WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The financially beleaguered Postal Service suffered a setback in its plan to end Saturday delivery of first-class mail as Congress on Thursday passed legislation requiring six-day delivery.
The Postal Service, which lost $16 billion last year, had announced last month its plan to switch to five-day mail service to save $2 billion annually.
No law requires the Postal Service to deliver mail six days a week, but Congress has traditionally included a provision in legislation to fund the federal government each year that has prevented the Postal Service from reducing delivery service.
The House of Representatives on Thursday gave final approval to the legislation, known as a continuing resolution, that maintains the provision, sending it to President Barack Obama to sign into law. The Senate approved the measure on Wednesday.
"I view [posts] as a source of boundless patronage to the executive, jobbing to members of Congress and their friends, and a bottomless abyss of public money. You will begin by only appropriating the surplus of the post office revenues; but the other revenues will soon be called into their aid, and it will be a source of eternal scramble among the members, who can get the most money wasted in their State."