From the National Newspaper Association

Saturday mail service is likely to continue through 2014-15 as congressional leadership continues to debate terms for a sweeping postal reform bill.

At the end of June, the House of Representatives resoundingly approved by voice vote an appropriations bill covering the U.S. Postal Service for the coming fiscal year that included the mandate for Saturday delivery. The Postal Service, which announced in 2009 it would end Saturday delivery, continues to oppose Congress’ annual mandates for the service.

HR 5016 moves to the Senate for possible action before the Oct. 1 fiscal year begins, though appropriations bills often die before enactment because of the many riders attached to them by hopeful members of Congress who cannot get their favorite initiatives passed in regular order. If the Senate does not take up HR 5016, Congress would have to pass a continuing appropriation bill to fund the agencies covered by HR 5016. The six-day mandate is highly likely to be included in either bill, noted Tonda F. Rush, National Newspaper Association chief executive officer.

The House was the Postal Service’s best hope for killing the six-day service, with Rep. Darrell Issa, R-CA, chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, solidly in postal management’s corner. But most Democrats and many rural Republicans concerned about hurting rural areas with USPS’ continued service cuts squared off against Issa and won.

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