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Senate Panel Approves Measure to Help Sustain Postal Service

A Senate panel approved legislation Wednesday to free up $7 billion to help sustain the U.S. Postal Service.

The bill enables the agency to tap into surplus funds in a retirement account to use toward retirement incentives for workers and to make other payments, according to Reuters.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), a bill co-sponsor, said the Postal Service would not survive without fundamental legislative and administrative forms.

“In our bill, we are asking — no, we’re directing — the Postal Service to make painful choices to reduce costs and not simply slash services and raise prices, which would only add to its death spiral,” she said.

The use of e-mail is one of the main factors as to why the Postal Service has seen a dive in mail volumes, as are payments for retiree’s health benefits. The Reuters report says it is suspected the office soon will announce it lost about $10 billion in fiscal year 2011.

The legislation is now on its way to the full Senate chamber,with no vote currently scheduled.

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