The US Senate on Wednesday passed a plan that would help pull the U.S. Postal Service from near collapse while saving thousand of jobs. The plan would also help save 100 mail processing plants that are set to close next month.
The plan passed with a 62-37 vote and could potentially help save Saturday delivery.
According to Sen. Tom Carper, a Delaware Democrat, one of the Senate bill’s co-sponsors:
“My hope is that our friends over in the U.S. House, given our bipartisan steps we took this week, will feel a sense of urgency,” and “The situation is not hopeless, the situation is dire.”
In a statement released following the passing of the bill Rep. Darrell Issa called the senate bill “wholly unacceptable.”
The House has yet to submit a Postal Service bill of its own and Congress needed to act by May 15 to avoid the end of a moratorium on postal office closures. The Senate bill came under the stipulation that the USPS delay its moratorium closings until the U.S. House proposes a bill of its own.
Among the bills most controversial measures are cuts to workers’ compensation benefits, a transition from door-to-door to curbside delivery in some areas and the slow down of first-class mail delivery service.
In the meantime the USPS is witnessing declining mail volume, a mandate to prefund retirement and a $5.1 billion loss for the year ended Sept. 30.
The new Senate bill also caps executive pay to $199,000, compared to $384,000 paid to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe in 2011.
According to the Congressional Budget Office the Senate bill will cost $33.6 billion over 10 years, a price consideration that is not likely to sit well with House reps.