U.S. House approves $50 billion relief bill for Postal Service -Breaking
By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters] – On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill providing $50 billion of financial relief for the Postal Service (USPS). Future retirees will also need to sign up in a government insurance plan.
It was approved by the House of Representatives 342-92. Now it goes to Senate for approval.
Since 2007, USPS reported net losses exceeding $90 billion. Tuesday’s quarter ended Dec. 31, saw a loss of $1.5 million.
Legislation passed in 2006 requiring pre-funding for more than $120 million of pension and healthcare liabilities.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy in March 2021 proposed cutting $160 billion in predicted losses over the next decade, which included https://about.usps.com/what/strategic-plans/delivering-for-america/assets/USPS_Delivering-For-America.pdf#:~:text=The%20Plan%E2%80%99s%20strategic%20initiatives%20are%20designed%20to%20reverse,next%20ten%20years%20by%20achieving%20break-even%20operating%20performance financial reforms in the House bill. USPS also adopted new delivery standards in October https://www.reuters.com/world/us/slower-us-mail-standards-take-effect-friday-2021-09-29 that slow some first-class mail deliveries. DeJoy described the legislation as essential to the United States Postal Service (USPS) and American People.
The bill repeals USPS’ prefunding requirements for retiree health benefits. This is an obligation no federal business has to meet. USPS estimates that it will reduce pre-funding liabilities and help save the agency approximately $27 billion in 10 years.
The law requires that future retirees enroll in Medicare. The USPS pays higher premiums because 25% of retired postal workers don’t sign up for Medicare. The USPS believes that the changes could help it save $22.6 billion in 10 years.
As well as the Greeting card Association Hallmark, Amazon.com and the White House (NASDAQ:), the bill has the support of the White House and the postal unions.
This bill will require USPS to continue six-day per week mail delivery and create an online dashboard with weekly performance data by ZIP code. It also expands rates for local newspaper distribution.
USPS doesn’t usually receive funding from the government, however Congress approved a loan for $10 billion to pay COVID-19 bills.
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