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USPS Overhaul Bill Moves to House After Senate Approval

2 May, 2012 By: Jackie Jones

WASHINGTON – The Senate has approved a bill that would allow major overhauls to the United States Postal Service (USPS), aiming to help cut the size of its delivery network and rebalance its finances, according to multiple media reports.

The bill, which will now be considered by the House, passed 62 to 37 and would provide the USPS with $11 billion to offer buyouts and early retirement incentives, and allow the postal service to cease Saturday deliveries in two years if financially needed, according to the Washington Post.

“We appreciate the hard work of the Senate in addressing postal issues, and we believe that there are important and valuable provisions contained in the legislation,” said Patrick R. Donahoe, postmaster general and chief executive officer of the USPS.  “We would have preferred the Senate allow the postal service to move further and faster in addressing its cost-reduction goals.”

The USPS currently incurs a daily loss of $25 million and has a debt of more than $13 billion, according to Donahoe. With the legislation passed last week, losses would continue in both the short- and long-term, and if the bill were to become law the postal service would be back before the Congress within a few years for additional legislative overhaul, he added.

“The postal service does not seek to be a burden to the American taxpayer, and we believe such an outcome is entirely avoidable. The postal service has advanced a comprehensive five-year plan that would enable revenue generation and achieve cost reductions of $20 billion by 2015 – restoring the postal service to long-term profitability,” Donahoe said. “The plan we have advanced is a fair and responsible approach for our customers, our employees and the communities we serve. We are hopeful that the legislative process will continue and that enacted legislation will put the postal service on a sustainable path to the future.”

The Senate bill would not enable the USPS to return to financial viability, according to the Board of Governors for the USPS.

“Given volume losses we have experienced over the past five years along with expected future trends, it is totally inappropriate in these economic times to keep unneeded facilities open,” the board said in an official statement. “There is simply not enough mail in our system today. It is also inappropriate to delay the implementation of five-day delivery with the vast majority of the American people support this change. Failure to act on these changes will ensure that the postal service’s losses will continue to mount.”

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