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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.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden readies massive shifts in policy for his first days in office.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.
  6. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.
Dave Lawler, author of World
3 hours ago - World

Alexey Navalny detained after landing back in Moscow

Navalny and his wife shortly before he was detained. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was detained upon his return to Moscow on Sunday, which came five months after he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. He returned despite being warned that he would be arrested.

The latest: Navalny was stopped at a customs checkpoint and led away alone by officers. He appeared to hug his wife goodbye, and his spokesman reports that his lawyer was not allowed to accompany him.