Issa threatens a fight over postal rider

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is threatening a fight if appropriators try to keep a provision on the U.S. Postal Service in future legislation to fund the government.

Issa, whose panel has jurisdiction over USPS, said the provision would hamstring the agency as it sought to alter its delivery schedule. Appropriators have kept in place, for decades, language stating that “six-day delivery and rural delivery of mail shall continue, at not less than the 1983 level.”

“Now is the time for making difficult but reasonable budgetary decisions,” Issa wrote Thursday to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.). “No new legislation should continue a provision that forces an executive branch entity to dig itself deeper into debt, increasing a multi-billion dollar liability that taxpayers are in danger of assuming.”

The current government funding measure expires on Jan. 15, and Issa says he’ll “take all actions at my disposal” to take the postal provision out during floor consideration of the next funding bill.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe tried unilaterally to move to end Saturday delivery of letters but continue six-day delivery of packages earlier this year. Issa and House GOP leaders supported that move, which postal officials say could save USPS $2 billion a year.

But Donahoe backed down after congressional appropriators and other lawmakers challenged whether the Postal Service could reduce Saturday delivery without their approval.

Issa and lawmakers in both parties and both chambers are trying to pass broad postal reform legislation to help an agency that lost $5 billion in fiscal 2013, but they have fallen short over the last three years.