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US Senate passes postal service reform bill; Sen. Gary Peters: "This is a major first step."

post office vehicle
Jodi Westrick
Michigan Radio

Congress has passed legislation that would shore up the U.S. Postal Service. It now goes to President Joe Biden, who is expected to sign it into law.

The legislation will overhaul the Postal Service's finances and allow the agency to modernize its operations. Among other things, the legislation would do away with a requirement that the Postal Service fund all retiree health benefits ahead of time.

The bill would also require six-day-a-week mail delivery.

The long-fought postal overhaul has been years in the making. It comes amid widespread complaints about mail service slowdowns. Officials have repeatedly warned that without congressional action the postal service would run out of cash by 2024.

U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) said the new post office reform bill should save the agency billions of dollars, though it would not be a complete fix.

“Certainly this is a major first step for postal reform,” said Peters, “There are other things that need to be done, but in order to get this legislation passed, it was important for us to focus on what everybody could agree on.”

Peters said the postal service's board of governors will need to make additional changes.

The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.
Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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