Dec 21, 2020 - Politics & Policy

COVID bill dedicates $10B to ailing Postal Service

A USPS worker is seen deliver mail in December

Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The latest coronavirus relief deal, which Congress is aiming to approve later today, provides $10 billion to help the ailing U.S. Postal Service, legislative aides familiar with the text tell Axios.

Why it matters: This new round of funding comes as the Postal Service has struggled to operate amid the pandemic, withstand a surge in Christmas shipping and be ready for a busy January, when Americans typically receive documents used for their tax preparation.

  • A fresh round of stimulus checks, this time $600 per adult and child, also are expected to be mailed before the end of this year.

Driving the news: The new bill will convert $10 billion from the government's March CARES Act loan program into direct funding for the USPS. The money will be used for operational and other increased costs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Democrats portrayed the outcome as a win, since it reallocated money the administration had threatened to eliminate.

The backdrop: The Postal Service has faced widening losses during the past several months, and it had been projected to run out of money as early as Oct. 1.

  • President Trump has also waged open warfare on the Postal Service, criticizing its deals with express shippers such as Amazon and installing a longtime Republican donor, Louis DeJoy, as postmaster general.
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