Congress would lift onerous budget requirements that have helped push the Postal Service deeply into debt and would require it to continue delivering mail six days per week under bipartisan legislation the House approved Tuesday.
The election-year bill, coming at a time of widespread complaints about slower mail service, would also require the Postal Service to display online how efficiently it delivers mail to communities.
The Postal Service is supposed to sustain itself with postage sales and other services, but has suffered 14 straight years of losses. The reasons include growing workers’ compensation and benefit costs plus steady declines in mail volume, even as it delivers to 1 million additional locations every year.
Postal Service officials have said without congressional action, it would run out of cash by 2024, a frequent warning from the service. It has estimated it will lose $160 billion over the coming decade.
Those pressures have brought the two parties together for a measure aimed at helping the Postal Service, its employees, businesses that use it and disgruntled voters who rely on it for delivery of prescription drugs, checks and other packages. Tuesday’s vote was 342-92, a rare show of partisan agreement, with all Democrats and most Republicans backing it.