USPS poll: Public backs five-day delivery

The Postal Service-commissioned poll — conducted by Ipsos — found broad majorities across all age groups, income levels and race support the agency’s plan. Around four in five people living in rural, urban and suburban areas also were on board with the idea.

But Donahoe, testifying before the Senate Homeland Security panel, also implored lawmakers to not put legislative constraints on his agency’s ability to move to five-day delivery for first-class mail.

Rural state lawmakers like Sens. Jon TesterJon TesterSenate Dems push Obama for more Iran transparency Bayh jumps into Indiana Senate race Six senators call on housing regulator to let Congress finish housing finance reform MORE (D-Mont.) and Mark PryorMark PryorCotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Top Democrats are no advocates for DC statehood MORE (D-Ark.) were especially critical of the move, with Pryor questioning whether USPS had the authority to unilaterally make the switch. 

Lawmakers also introduced legislation this week to mandate six-day delivery. Critics say getting rid of Saturday delivery would end a competitive advantage for USPS, which currently loses around $25 million a day.

Postal officials say they believe they can move forward in part because the government is currently funded through a temporary spending measure that expires in March. 

Congress has mandated six-day delivery for around 30 years, through the appropriations process. Top lawmakers have expressed hope that they can quickly finish off a postal overhaul, which would likely include language on delivery standards.