The proposed change is based on what appears to be a legal loophole. Congress has long included a ban on five-day-only delivery in its spending bills, but because the federal government is now operating under a temporary spending measure rather than an appropriations bill, the Postal Service's Donahoe says it's the agency's interpretation that it can make the change itself.
"This is not like a 'gotcha' or anything like that," he said. The agency essentially wants Congress to keep the ban out of any new spending bill after the temporary measure expires March 27.
Might Congress try to block the idea?
"Let's see what happens," Donahoe said. "I can't speak for Congress."
Q. What do regular mail customers think?
A. Reaction has been mixed, with some people criticizing the decision and others saying it would have little or no impact on them.
"It is bad news, a bad decision, let me tell you," Konstantine Christov, 73, said while riding the El train in Chicago. "You can read the mail much more quietly on Saturday. I get news from my bank. I can plan for next week. If I need to pay my bills I have more time to do it."
"The mail isn't that important to me anymore. ... I don't sit around waiting for it to come," said James Valentine, the owner of an antiques shop in Toledo, Ohio. "It's a sign of the times. ... It's not like anyone writes letters anymore."
Associated Press writers Jennifer C. Kerr and Nedra Pickler, researcher Monika Mathur and broadcast correspondent Jerry Bodlander in Washington and AP writer David Koenig in Dallas contributed to this report.
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