Off The Wire
U.S. Treasury makes $10 billion loan available to postal service as part of coronavirus relief
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury said on Wednesday it has reached a deal with U.S. Postal Service on the conditions of a loan of up to $10 billion that was included in recent coronavirus relief legislation.
The postal service does not need to borrow at the moment, but the money will now be available should the financially strained agency have to access it, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.
“While the USPS is able to fund its operating expenses without additional borrowing at this time, we are pleased to have reached an agreement on the material terms and conditions of a loan, should the need arise,” said Mnuchin.
Already saddled by a large pension and healthcare burden, the postal service had seen federal funding drop and revenues decline from the rise of private delivery companies and email before the coronavirus pandemic hobbled the U.S. economy. People across the country, though, have relied on the service more since the spring’s coronavirus outbreak for delivering goods bought on-line and, in many areas, to vote safely in elections.
The U.S. Congress included the loan in recent legislation meant to blunt the economic pain of the pandemic and keep the postal service operational. President Donald Trump’s recent appointee to head the service, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, though, is pushing to cut costs to bring its budget in balance even if it means delaying delivery.
Reporting by Lisa Lambert and Susan Heavey; Editing by Chris Reese and Dan Grebler