Efforts to eliminate Saturday mail delivery continue, but a six-day provision is currently included in law to be enacted on both sides of Congress.
Lawmakers reinserted the provision in the 2015 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Bill with approval by the House Appropriations committee on June 25.
Previously, a draft version of the Financial Services bill was approved without the inclusion of the six-day service requirement rider.
Without the rider, Congress could pass an appropriations bill that would legally enable the U.S. Postal Service to stop Saturday mail delivery Oct. 1.
However, the Postal Service has said it would give six months’ notice before going to five-day delivery, according to Tonda Rush, chief executive officer of the National Newspaper Association.
Rush reported that subcommittee chairman Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Florida, had removed the six-day requirement at the request of Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California.
Issa, chairman of the committee that oversees the Postal Service, favors reducing mail delivery.
Rush said the provision was reinserted through an amendment offered by Reps. Jose Serrano (D-New York) and Tom Latham (R-Iowa).
She said Democrats raised concerns about the loss of postal jobs and Republicans spoke up primarily about the importance of the mail in rural areas.
The six-day rider has been annually enacted through the Financial Services appropriations bill, according to the National Newspaper Association. The bill will now go to the House floor with this provision intact.
Congress is making a mighty effort this year to restore “regular order” in appropriations bills, Rush said, which means it hopes to actually pass the bills rather than let them stall at the last minute on controversial amendments. Congress wants to avoid resorting to continuing resolutions to fund the government.
She said the earlier advocacy of community newspapers to protect Saturday mail from becoming a bogus way of paying for the Highway Transportation Fund succeeded.