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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.

Go deeper

Updated Dec 28, 2020 - Politics & Policy

House votes to increase stimulus payments to $2,000 per person

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The House voted 275-134 on Monday to increase direct payments from its coronavirus relief package to $2,000 per person, up from the $600 checks that Congress had previously approved.

Why it matters: The measure is unlikely to pass the GOP-controlled Senate, but could further divide President Trump and Republicans ahead of the crucial Senate runoffs in Georgia next week.

8 mins ago - Technology

3D printing's next act: big metal objects

Chief Scientist Andy Bayramian makes modifications to the laser system on Seurat's 3D metal printer. Photo courtesy of Seurat Technologies.

A new metal 3D printing technology could revolutionize the way large industrial products like planes and cars are made, reducing the cost and carbon footprint of mass manufacturing.

Why it matters: 3D printing — also called additive manufacturing — has been used since the 1980s to make small plastic parts and prototypes. Metal printing is newer, and the challenge has been figuring out how to make things like large car parts faster and cheaper than traditional methods.

Rising rates may hammer the stock market

Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios

Stocks are much more vulnerable to interest rate swings than they used to be.

Why it matters: A sharp rise in rates in early 2022 is the key reason the stock market is off to an ugly start. And with the Federal Reserve making noise about trying to keep inflation in check, rates could go higher.