The U.S. Postal Service will likely begin closing post offices around the country this summer unless Congress acts to address its financial woes.
Last year, the Postal Service agreed to hold off shutting down postal facilities until May 15, to give Congress time to act on its escalating financial problems, which include a $5 billion annual loss. However, with the deadline fast approaching, help from Washington seems no closer.
The Senate has passed a bill, but the House shows little inclination to advance its own measure to a vote. Partisan sniping between Democrats and Republicans has escalated, further dampening the likelihood of a compromise.
Barring a congressional rescue of some sort, the postal service will likely resume the process of closing post offices and other mail-processing facilities around the country. That won’t start right away, according to Postmaster General Patrick Donahue, who says the process will take time.
Still, Donahue’s vow not to close postal locations during the holidays and presidential election from October through December leaves only the summer for serious cost trimming, CNN Money notes.
The post office has previously announced plans to shut down about 223 facilities, in addition to 200 post offices. The closures would save the service about $2 billion.
At least 35,000 postal workers could lose their jobs if the closures occur.