USPS faces deadline to pay $5.5 billion government loan

July 29, 2012 5:42:50 PM PDT
The United States Postal Service faces a $5.5 billion loan payment that's due August 1.

Postal officials have asked Congress for help. If Congress doesn't act by Wednesday, the service will default on the loan payment due to the federal government to cover retiree health benefits. It would be the first default in its more than two-hundred year history.

"The Postal Service has said they're going to continue to pay its employees and they're going to continue to pay their bills and pay their subcontractors. So in some respects this default is largely symbolic," Jennifer Liberto from CNNMoney.com said.

"I think there's gotta be some closings and consolidation. That's modernization. It just doesn't need to be as draconian and as quickly done as is what is necessary right now," Cliff Guffey of the American Postal Workers Union said.

The Senate has passed legislation to help shore up the service's finances, but the House has yet to act.

The Postal Service is already shutting down some processing plants and wants to end Saturday service to save money.


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