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.
The Postal Service has been advocating a shift to five-day delivery for several years, but Congress hasn't approved it.
Congress included a ban on five-day delivery in its appropriations bill. But because the federal government is now operating under a temporary spending measure, rather than an appropriations bill, Donahoe says the agency believes it can make the change itself.
He says the agency is asking Congress not to reimpose the ban when the spending measure expires on March 27.