(USA Today) -- The nation will continue to get its Saturday mail through at least September 30, the U.S. Postal Service said Wednesday.
The Postal Service backed down from its plan to cut mail delivery starting this summer from six days a week to five, saying Congress had prohibited such a move.
A measure passed by Congress last month to fund government operations while the budget remains in limbo included language that barred the U.S. Postal Service from changing its delivery schedule, the Board of Governors of the postal service said in a statement Wednesday.
The postal service had proposed delivering only packages on Saturday. The new schedule was to begin on Aug. 5.
The Board said it was "disappointed" with the move by Congress, but would follow the law. The Board directed the postal service to delay the start of its new delivery schedule while it seeks authority from Congress to make the change.
Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe had said that eliminating Saturday mail delivery would save the Postal Service $2 billion a year. The agency says it lost almost $16 billion last year, due in part to a 2006 congressional mandate requiring it to pre-pay 75 years worth of retiree benefits within a decade.
Last month, however, the a bill passed by the House to fund the government through September requires six-day Postal Service delivery for the remainder of the fiscal year.