USPS rescue plan passes in House

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The US House of Representatives passed legislation on September 25 that would allow the US Postal Service to cut the amount of money it is required to pay to its retirement account this year by $4 billion. The continuing resolution, which passed the House by a vote of 217 to 190, was awaiting action in the Senate as of press time.

The bill would cut a required payment to the postal retirees' health fund from $5.4 billion to $1.4 billion. The USPS expects the Senate to take up the matter on September 29, according to agency spokesperson Gerry McKiernan. That payment is due September 30.

Earlier this month, the House passed the United States Postal Service Financial Relief Act of 2009, which also would have cut the required payment to $1.4 billion this year. The Senate did not take up that legislation by press time. McKiernan said that bill is "set aside" for now.

The USPS lost $2.4 billion last quarter, which is also when it began looking for congressional help.

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