Republicans, Democrats on House panel move to mandate Saturday mail delivery

WASHINGTON – A powerful House panel has gone against the wishes of GOP leaders and restored a longstanding congressional mandate requiring the Postal Service to deliver mail on Saturdays.

The bipartisan voice vote in the Appropriations Committee comes as House GOP leaders are pressing a plan to use savings from ending Saturday deliveries to pay for an infusion of cash into the government’s highway fund before it runs dry this summer.

The vote illustrates the sentiment on Capitol Hill to preserve six-day mail delivery, which is especially popular with older voters.

The provision has been carried for decades as part of a spending bill with jurisdiction over the Postal Service but was originally left out this year. The agency’s budget is kept separate from the rest of the government.