Senate tries to salvage ailing US Postal Service


US Postal Service letter carrier Juan Padilla puts letters into a mailbox as he walks his delivery route on December 5, 2011 in San Francisco, California.


Justin Sullivan

This week the Senate is debating how to save the ailing US Postal Service.

Faced with massive postal cuts, Congress is discussing a bill that would infuse the near bankrupt post office with enough cash to keep it going while delaying most decisions on ending Saturday mail delivery and closings.

The Washington Post reports senators voted 74 to 22 to proceed with the debate on Tuesday with less than a month left until postal officials say they plan to begin closing hundreds of post offices and processing facilities.

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Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe agreed to delay the closings until May 15 so that Congress could pass legislation.

The Associated Press says thousands of post offices and mail processing centers need to shut for it to be profitable again by 2015.

But with that comes tens of thousands of layoffs and possible political fallout in those districts this election year.

A recent report by the Government Accountability Office said delays in ending Saturday mail deliveries “could make it difficult” to save $22.5 billion by 2016 as needed.