Senator: Panel will block mail delivery cut

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Sen. Jon Tester says the lawmakers who oversee the budget of the post office will block a proposal to reduce mail deliveries to five days a week.

The Montana Democrat said eliminating Saturday deliveries would be a hardship on people living in rural areas without producing major savings for the Postal Service.

The post office has proposed the change as one of several steps to reduce its expected $7 billion loss this year.

The agency also wants to raise rates starting in January, to close or consolidate offices and to avoid annual prepayments for future retiree health care costs.

The Postal Service does not receive tax funds for its operations, but must follow the direction of Congress, which annually stipulates that services cannot be cut without its permission.

Tester, a member of the Senate Financial Services Appropriations Subcommittee, said in a statement Wednesday that he was able to assure that provision will be continued.