The U.S. Postal Service isn't waiting any longer for permission from Congress to quit delivering mail on Saturdays. It says it's going ahead with plans to start five-day-a-week delivery in August.
Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe says the agency's financial condition is urgent, and the change will save about $2 billion a year.
Under the plan, letters would be delivered to homes and businesses only from Monday through Friday. Packages would continue to be delivered on Saturdays.
Mail would still be delivered to post office boxes on Saturdays, and post offices now open on Saturdays would remain open.
U.S. Senator Tim Johnson Wednesday released the following statement on the United States Postal Service's announcement regarding the elimination of Saturday delivery:
"I have long said the elimination of Saturday mail delivery should be a last resort option, and I am disappointed with the Postal Service's decision to end Saturday delivery. Last spring, the Senate passed a bipartisan postal reform bill that would have addressed the Postal Service's current budget shortfalls and prohibited the agency from eliminating Saturday delivery for at least two years while alternative cost savings are implemented. Unfortunately, the bill was never brought up for a vote in the House, and this inaction prevented postal reform from moving forward."
"The elimination of Saturday delivery does not take effect until August 1st, so there is still time for Congress to come together and pass comprehensive postal reform. This is a top priority for me, and I will continue working to preserve the universal service mandate that ensures those in South Dakota and other rural areas continue having access to quality and affordable mail service."