Six-day mail delivery is going to continue — at least for some time. That’s the word from the National Newspaper Association in Washington, D.C.

The failure of Congress to reach an agreement on a broad postal reform bill keeps six-day mail delivery intact for a while longer, according to Tonda Rush, NNA executive director.

But the U.S. Postal Service continues to campaign to end Saturday mail deliveries. With no postal reform bill enacted, the prevailing law is the rider on the USPS appropriations bill requiring six-day mail. It must be re-enacted a year at a time, or in an environment like we have today where Congress does not pass actual appropriations bills but simply votes to continue status quo through continuing resolutions — it just gets carried forward with every government-wide spending bill, according to NNA.

During the postal reform battle, a group of letter carriers went on a hunger strike at the Capitol. There is strong union opposition to reforms and that has helped to keep the reform legislation bottled up. If Congress does pass a postal reform bill, Saturday mail delivery may be stopped.

NNA has been trying to get a provision enacted that would allow newspapers access to mailboxes on any day the USPS does not deliver mail.

The Democratic leadership in the Senate promises to bring up postal reform early in 2013, probably in April.

USPS continues to have financial woes. That continues to be USPS’s message to Congress —  that it must cut costs and services.

 The newspaper association has been out front in the battle to keep six-day mail service. It would impose a hardship on newspapers, their advertisers, and their readers to stop Saturday deliveries. Newspapers with a weekend edition, such as The Missourian, depend on Saturday deliveries.  The NNA has challenged the amount of money USPS says it would save by cutting Saturday deliveries.

We don’t question the need for postal reforms in light of the USPS’s financial condition. However, cutting Saturday deliveries is going to mean less revenue for USPS and isn’t the answer to solve its problems.