Issa and Sen. Tom Coburn, the top Republican on the Senate committee that oversees the Postal Service, wrote in a letter to House and Senate leaders on Wednesday that five-day delivery is "worthy of bipartisan support."

"They are maintaining six-day [package] delivery for our elderly, and others, who depend on medicines," Issa said on CNBC. "They are maintaining a six-day [Priority Mail] letter delivery. What they're not doing is agreeing to go with one letter to your mailbox for forty-some cents. It's just been unreasonable."

Mel Machovec agreed.

"I just think it's kind of ridiculous," said Machovec, owner of StaleFish Board Co., a skate shop in Bel Air. "How important is that one piece of mail?"

"They do need to do something," echoed Stuart Strick, a longshoreman dropping off a work-related form at the post office in Dundalk. "They're in the hole financially."

But Karenja Saunders said she was reluctant to see another vestige of her childhood vanish.

Saunders, an accountant in Annapolis who described herself as "an e-person," expressed annoyance with bills and junk mail, and said she understands budgetary constraints. But she said mail remains an important link to her mother and grandmother in Florida.

"I prefer Saturday mail because I like having that extra day," she said. "I've been used to it since childhood. I like it."

"What if you've got something important coming?" asked Nicole Mobely, who just moved to Baltimore from Virginia. "You've got to wait two more days."

"I think they should add Sundays," said Ryan Willis, at the Dundalk Post Office.

Salvatore Anello, an attorney in Arbutus, said the change won't affect his firm, because it owns a post office box. But with so much legal paperwork sent through the mail, he expressed concern about future cuts.

"People who are accountants, people who are lawyers, we really need official signatures on things," he said. "And that could be a problem if the post office is, in fact, a dinosaur."

Keesha Johnson, a driving instructor in Baltimore, said her students had little reaction to the news when she raised it with them Wednesday. But she felt a sadness.

"If it has to happen, it has to happen," she said. "But that's going to be a weird adjustment."

Baltimore Sun reporters Alison Knezevich and Andrea F. Siegel and Baltimore Sun Media Group reporters David Anderson, Julie Baughman, Larry Perl and Bryna Zumer contributed to this article.

matthew.brown@baltsun.com

twitter.com/matthewhaybrown

Timeline

December 2006: Congress requires the Postal Service to pre-fund 75 years' worth of future retiree benefits within a 10-year span.

July 2011: Postal Service announces plan to close 3,700 small or rural Post Offices (number of closures later reduced).

December 2011: Postal Service announces plans to close more than half of its mail-processing centers and cut 28,000 jobs.

April 2012: Senate approves legislation to allow the Postal Service to offer retirement incentives to 100,000 employees and recover $11 billion from pension funds. House does not move a bill.

Feb. 6, 2013: Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe announces plan to end home delivery of first-class mail beginning in August.

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