Tags: postal | congress | deficit | naming

House Introduces 60 Bills to Rename Post Offices But None to Reform USPS

By Patrick Hobin   |   Wednesday, 01 Aug 2012 01:40 PM

With the U.S. Postal Service on the brink of a first-ever default on billions in payments due to the Treasury, the House introduced 60 bills to rename post offices and none aimed at actually reforming the beleaguered mail agency, ABC News reported.

There has been widening uncertainty about the mail agency's solvency as the volume of first-class letters plummets and Congress deadlocks on ways to stem the red ink.

But you wouldn’t know it by looking at the bills introduced and passed in the House during that time. According to ABC News, the House has introduced 60 bills to rename post offices, 38 of which passed the House and 26 which became law.

During that time, the House produced 151 laws, 17 percent of which have been to rename post offices, ABC News reported.

No bill aimed at reforming a Postal Service has made it to the floor, despite the agency bleeding billions of dollars, according to ABC News.

With cash running perilously low, two legally required payments for future postal retirees' health benefits — $5.5 billion due Wednesday and  $5.6 billion due in September — will be left unpaid, the mail agency said Monday.

Postal officials said they also are studying whether they may need to delay other obligations. In the coming months, $1.5 billion is due to the Labor Department for workers compensation, which it expects to pay, and  millions in interest payments is due the Treasury.

The defaults won't stir any kind of catastrophe in day-to-day mail service. Post offices will stay open, mail trucks will run, employees will get paid, and current retirees will get health benefits.

The Postal Service, an independent agency of government, receives no taxpayer money for operations but is subject to congressional control.

It loses an estimated $25 million a day, including savings it would have been accruing had Congress approved its five-year profitability plan in the spring. That plan would cut Saturday delivery, reduce low-volume postal facilities and end its obligation to pay more than $5 billion each year for future retiree health payments.

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