House Panel Votes Relief for Postal Service

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted Friday to approve HR 22, which would save the U.S. Postal Service $2.3 billion this year in health care costs.  The bill allows the Postal Service to pay health care premiums for its current retirees using a trust fund designated for future retirees.  Without the bill, the Postal Service would have to make a $2.3 billion payment in September for its current retirees; postal officials say they cannot pay that bill.  

"The Postal Service is facing a financial emergency," said Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., the committee chairman.  "HR 22 would allow the Postal Service to live to fight another day."

HR 22 was introduced in January and then spent almost six months before the committee.  The bill now heads to the full House for a vote.  Passage is almost guaranteed: the bill has 337 co-sponsors.

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