Senate passes postal bill that would end Saturday mail
(Reuters) - The Senate advanced legislation on Wednesday that would allow the U.S. Postal Service to end Saturday mail after two years as part of efforts to overhaul the mail agency and prevent it from shuttering thousands of facilities next month.
The Postal Service has been losing billions of dollars each year due to the rise of online communications and high labor and other costs. Both houses of Congress have been working for months on legislation to restructure the agency and offer some relief.
The Senate voted 62-37 to pass its bill, which would also let the mail agency use about $11 billion in surplus funds in a retirement account to offer early retirement incentives as a means to reduce its workforce.
But while the bill was sponsored by a bipartisan coalition of senators, it faces a difficult challenge in the Republican-led House of Representatives. Leaders have yet to schedule a full House vote on the leading bill, which differs significantly from the Senate version, even though a committee approved it in October.
"This bill will bring the change that the post office needs to stay alive and serve the people and businesses of our country," Independent Senator Joe Lieberman, one of the Senate bill's sponsors, said before the vote. ...