WASHINGTON — U.S. President Joe Biden will sign on Wednesday legislation to provide the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) with about $50 billion in financial relief over a decade, a White House official said.
Last month in a rare display of bipartisanship for a narrowly divided Congress, the U.S. Senate voted 79-19 to approve the bill that also requires future postal retirees to enroll in government health insurance.
That vote followed approval by the U.S. House of Representatives in early February. Biden will sign the bill at a White House ceremony at 4:15 p.m. EDT.
Struggling with diminishing mail volumes despite having to deliver to a growing number of addresses, USPS has reported net losses of more than $90 billion since 2007. In February, it booked a quarterly net loss of $1.5 billion.
The signing comes as the White House and Democrats in Congress have criticized USPS’s decision to buy mostly fossil fuel powered vehicles for its next-generation delivery fleet.
At a hearing Tuesday, lawmakers asked USPS why it is not buying more electric vehicles (EVs) — even though the Postal Service last month doubled its initial order from 5,000 to 10,019 EVs out of its first 50,000 vehicles.
Postal official Victoria K. Stephen told lawmakers Tuesday USPS “remains in a crisis condition.”
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy proposed some of the financial reforms in the legislation. The changes are a key part of his March 2021 reform plan, which he has said could eliminate $160 billion in predicted losses over the next…
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