100 mail processing centers are scheduled to either be closed down or consolidated next month. The U.S. Senate had passed a bill with a vote of 62-37 that will continue Saturday delivery of mail to citizens for a two year period of time. The future of the USPS now lies in the hands of the House of Representatives.
According to the Wall Street Journal, "Even in its current reduced state, it's carrying 165 billion pieces of mail a year," said Art Sackler, coordinator of the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service, a group backing the Senate bill. "It's a critically important step to the process of getting to the point where the Postal Service is financially sustainable."
"My hope is that our friends over in the U.S. House, given our bipartisan steps we took this week, will feel a sense of urgency," said Sen., a Delaware Democrat, one of the Senate bill's co-sponsors. "The situation is not hopeless, the situation is dire." according to CNN.
"The financial situation facing the U.S. Postal Service is dire, but it is not hopeless," said Sen. Tom Carper (D., Del.), one of the bill's main backers. "The time to act is now, and this legislation will provide the Postal Service with much-needed flexibility so it can right size, modernize and remain competitive for decades to come." reports the Wall Street Journal.
The Postal Service plans to continue moving forward with the cost saving plan to eliminate up to 3,700 post offices and as many as 223 distribution centers if Congress fails to pass legislation to prevent these steps from happening.
Pressure for package delivery compounded by online options for delivery of bills, communications and various other types of mail have crippled the agency. The Postal Service has started offering various options to customers in an attempt to pump up business, but so far these attempts have not been able to provide the necessary revenues to bring about financial stability.