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US Senate Approves $50 billion Postal Service Relief Bill

Washington — 

The U.S. Senate voted 79-19 on Tuesday for a invoice that would supply the Postal Service (USPS) with about $50 billion in monetary aid over a decade and require its future retirees to enroll in a authorities medical insurance plan.

The motion, after the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly authorised the measure in early February, sends the invoice to President Joe Biden for his signature. USPS has reported web losses of greater than $90 billion since 2007, and on Tuesday reported a web lack of $1.5 billion for the quarter ending Dec. 31.

USPS has been battling diminishing mail volumes even because it should ship to a rising variety of U.S. addresses.

“It has to be done because the Postal Service’s business model just doesn’t work,” mentioned Senator Rob Portman, a Republican and one the invoice’s main sponsors. “Having to deliver more and more packages and fewer and fewer more profitable first-class mail pieces to more and more addresses.”

AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler, whose union represents postal staff, mentioned the invoice was the fruits of “15 years of efforts to fund and strengthen USPS.”

Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer mentioned the laws offers “the Postal Service a much-needed reset and puts the agency “on a path to solvency.”

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy in March 2021 proposed a few of the financial reforms within the laws, which he mentioned might remove $160 billion in predicted losses over the following decade. USPS additionally adopted new supply requirements in October that gradual some first-class mail deliveries. DeJoy has referred to as the laws “vital to the United States Postal Service and the American People.”

One purpose for the massive losses is 2006 laws mandating USPS prefund greater than $120 billion in retiree well being care and pension liabilities.

The invoice eliminates necessities USPS prefund retiree well being advantages for present and retired staff for 75 years, a requirement no business or different federal entity faces. USPS initiatives it could sharply scale back its prefunding legal responsibility and put it aside roughly $27 billion over 10 years.

It requires future retirees to enroll in Medicare. About 25% of postal retirees don’t enroll in Medicare though they’re eligible, which ends up in USPS paying greater premiums than different employers. USPS estimates the change might put it aside about $22.6 billion over 10 years.

Postal unions assist the invoice as does the Greeting Card Association, Hallmark and Amazon.com.

The invoice requires USPS to keep up six-day-a-week mail deliveries and develop a web based weekly efficiency information dashboard by ZIP code, and expands particular charges for native newspaper distribution.

USPS has mentioned the legislative adjustments will largely remove an estimated $57 billion in liabilities over the following 10 years, with out lowering the advantages acquired by staff or retirees.