Susan Collins

The Senate passed a U.S. Postal Service reform bill on Wednesday. The chamber voted 62 to 37 on the bill, which aims to restructure the mail service and protect it from bankruptcy. It needed 60 votes or more to pass. Opposition was mostly, but not completely, Republican. The legislation, S. 1789, now goes to the Republican-controlled House, though the chamber is unlikely to consider the legislation in its current form. The postal reform bill, called "21st Century Postal Service Act of 2012," was sponsored by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) with Sens. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and …

Key lawmakers from both parties, and in both chambers, agree that the United States Postal Service needs to make some serious changes. But the legislative prescriptions to bring stability to the USPS are not all on the same page on several crucial issues, including healthcare and retirement costs, a potential roadblock to bipartisan efforts to overhaul the struggling agency.

Key lawmakers from both parties, and in both chambers, agree that the United States Postal Service needs to make some serious changes. But the legislative prescriptions to bring stability to the USPS are not all on the same page on several crucial issues, including healthcare and retirement costs, a potential roadblock to bipartisan efforts to overhaul the struggling agency.

The U.S. Postal Service has lost $2.6 billion so far this year and will require significant help from Congress to get back on track, officials said on Tuesday. During a board meeting, Postal Service leaders reported large losses through the second quarter of 2011. USPS lost $1.9 billion in that same period in fiscal 2010.

Postal regulators will meet Tuesday to start considering a U.S. Postal Service request to raise first class stamp prices to 46 cents and other postage rates beyond the rate of inflation. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). But the senator who coauthored the law allowing USPS to file what's called an "exigent rate case" told the Postal Regulatory Commission on Monday that it shouldn't approve the hike this time. At issue is a clause in the 2006 Postal reform law that allows the mail agency to raise prices beyond inflation in the event of "extraordinary or exceptional circumstances." Sen. Susan Collins

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