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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.

Dems race to address, preempt stimulus fraud claims

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Biden officials are working to root out the systematic fraud in unemployment and Paycheck Protection Program claims that plagued the Trump administration’s efforts to boost the economy with coronavirus relief money, Gene Sperling told House committee chairmen privately this week.

Why it matters: President Biden just signed another $1.9 trillion of aid into law, with Sperling tapped to oversee its implementation. And the administration is asking Congress to approve another $2.2 trillion for the first phase of an infrastructure package.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Biden close to picking Nick Burns as China ambassador

Nicholas Burns. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Nicholas Burns, a career diplomat, is in the final stages of vetting to serve as President Biden’s ambassador to China, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Across the administration, there's a consensus the U.S. relationship with China will be the most critical — and consequential — of Biden's presidency. From trade to Taiwan, the stakes are high. Burns could be among the first batch of diplomatic nominees announced in the coming weeks.