Postal Service reports $5.2B loss in 3rd quarter

By Hope Yen

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Aug. 9 2012 11:41 a.m. MDT

"There are more than 8 million private sector workers whose jobs depend on the mail, and these jobs may be in jeopardy if Congress fails to reform the Postal Service," Sackler said. "As bad as things are getting for the Postal Service, it could be worse next year."

The agency has forecast a record $15 billion loss by the end of this year. Without legislative changes, it said, annual losses will exceed $21 billion by 2016.

The Senate passed a postal bill in April that would have provided financial relief in part by reducing the annual health payments and providing an $11 billion cash infusion, basically a refund of overpayments the Postal Service made to a federal pension fund. The House, however, remains stalled over a separate bill that would allow for aggressive cuts, including an immediate end to Saturday delivery. Rural lawmakers, in particular, worry about the impact of closures in their communities.

The Postal Service originally sought to close low-revenue post offices in rural areas to save money but after public opposition it is now moving forward with a new plan to keep 13,000 open with shorter operating hours.

The Postal Service, an independent agency of government, does not receive tax money for its day-to-day operations but is subject to congressional control.

Online:

State-by-state graphic — http://apne.ws/QMOOzh