The U.S. Postal Service on Wednesday said it will delay a cost-cutting plan to end Saturday mail delivery, following congressional action that blocked the effort — as the agency suggested it might have to turn to rate increases and layoffs as an alternative.
In a tersely worded announcement, the agency’s board of governors said it was “left no choice” but to delay the plan after Congress passed a temporary federal spending bill last month that stopped the plan.
The decision at least temporarily ends a stand-off between Congress and the agency, which asserted it had the legal authority to move to a five-days-a-week delivery schedule.
However, Congress sought a legal opinion from the Government Accountability Office, which concluded March 21 that the agency does not have the authority.
“I applaud today’s decision by the board of governors to direct the postmaster general to cease his misguided efforts to blatantly disregard the will of Congress and the rule of law itself,” said Virginia Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly, among those who opposed the agency’s plan.
The announcement by the agency’s board of governors also hinted at delivery-rate increases and possible layoffs as alternative cost-cutting strategies.