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Post Office Will Keep Saturday Mail Delivery After All

A Chicago postal worker protests in support of Saturday mail delivery in February.

The U.S. Postal Service has backed off a plan to halt Saturday mail delivery, saying that Congress has forced it to continue the service despite massive cost overruns.

In a statement released Wednesday, the USPS Board of Governors said that restrictive language included in the Continuing Resolution that keeps the government operating in lieu of a budget, keeps it from going ahead with the plan.

In February, the Postal Service announced that it would end regular mail delivery on Saturdays beginning on August 5 in an effort to stanch the red ink in its budget. It planned to continue package deliveries on Saturday.

The Postal Service board says Congress "has left ... no choice but to delay implementation" of the five-day-a-week plan for mail delivery.

In 2012, the Postal Service lost a record $15 billion, pushing it toward insolvency.

According to The New York Times, "The agency's financial reports show that mail volume continues to decline as Americans increasingly turn to electronic forms of communication. Total mail volume was 159.9 billion pieces, down 5 percent from 168.3 billion pieces a last year. Operating revenue was $65.2 billion, down from $65.7 billion over the same period."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit www.npr.org.

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