The U.S. Postal Service announced Wednesday it will continue Saturday mail delivery despite previous plans to cut back to a five-day delivery system.
The USPS says the reversal comes because Congress failed to drop a long-time spending measure prohibiting reduced delivery days.
Last month, Congress passed a measure to fund government operations. The bill included language that barred a change in the current delivery schedule, according to a statement released by the Postal Service Board of Governors Wednesday.
The Postal Service Board says it's not possible to meet its goals for reduced spending without altering the delivery schedule. They say Congress is delaying what they call "responsible change."
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which oversees the Postal Service, called the decision a disappointing setback and argued that polls show Americans support the pared-down schedule.
"This reversal significantly undercuts the credibility of postal officials who have told Congress that they were prepared to defy political pressure and make difficult but necessary cuts," Issa said in a written statement.
"It's quite clear that special-interest lobbying and intense political pressure played a much greater role in the Postal Service's change of heart than any real or perceived barrier to implementing what had been announced," he charged.
Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe predicted eliminating Saturday mail delivery would mean $2 billion a year in savings for the Postal Service. He has also warned he will buck Capitol Hill efforts to dismantle their critical five-year-plan to make the service solvent.