After two days of deliberation and debate, the U.S. Senate passed a bill that’s meant to alleviate the financial strain on the U.S. Postal Service—including a controversial plan to cut mail deliveries to five days a week.
The 21st Century Postal Service Act passed Wednesday on a 62-37 vote, with amendments to the original bill that left the USPS disappointed.
In a released statement, the USPS board of governors expressed its desire to implement a strategic business plan that would eliminate burdensome costs and return the USPS to financial stability. One of many parts to the plan included reducing mail deliveries to five days a week. Though the bill that was passed included this concession, it was amended to delay implementation of the new delivery schedule for two years from the time the bill is signed into law.
The delay is “inappropriate” the USPS states, adding that the action of the Senate falls short of the original business plan.
“We are disappointed that the Senate’s bill would not enable the Postal Service to return to financial viability,” the USPS says.
Other amendments to the bill include the opportunity for communities to protest a planned closure of their local post office, and prohibiting the USPS from closing branches in rural areas if another office is not located within 10 miles.
The bill will now go to the House, where further changes may be made before a final law is enacted.