Area lawmaker weighs in on US Postal Service fiscal cliff - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Area lawmaker weighs in on US Postal Service fiscal cliff

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -

As the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) sits on the verge of bankruptcy its post master demands Congress act. The postal bill has been before Congress since April and time is running out on it.

 

"The postal service is essentially out of money.  We are kind of at the end of everything here. We reached our borrowing limit earlier this year. things are at a point where something has to happen," says Sean Hargadon, USPS spokesperson.

 

Hargadon hopes that something is Congress voting on the postal bill.  The version that passed the Senate in April would stop the UPSP from funding its employees' retirement 75 years out. 

 

"Legislation that ordered them to pre-pay the pensions and instead of paying a billion dollars a year to keep up with the pensions like every other government agency, they are paying $5 billion," says Representative Don Manzullo.

 

Though most Republican legislators support the Senate bill, Democrats and the postal unions don't because it would end Saturday service and more easily close post offices and mail-processing plants.    

 

There is another version of the postal bill in the House but it has not been brought onto the floor.  This stand still has the postal service hemorrhaging money while waiting for congress approval to fix the problem.

 

"We've seen first class mail volume decline by 50 percent, more than 50 percent in the last 10 years. So all that infrastructure that has built up has kind of gone the other way and we have to right-side the organization and change the way we do business," says Hargadon. 

But according to Manzullo lawmakers are not moving on the bill.

 

"The House and the Senate were working together very closely but I don't think anything is going to happen this year," says Manzullo.

 

The postal service says right now it is operating on a week's worth of cash. 

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