U.S. Postal Service Declares Quarterly Loss, Congress Still Fails To Move Fix

The U.S. Postal Service announced a quarterly loss of $5.2 billion today. The agency blamed the mounting costs for future retiree health benefits, which account for $3.1 billion of the loss. This crippling cost did not exist before 2006, when the Republican-controlled Congress passed a law requiring the Postal Service to prefund its pension benefits for 75 years through a $5.5 billion yearly payment. The agency has pushed Congress to act on postal reform legislation, but so far the crisis has only been met with 60 bills to rename post offices. Last week, the post office defaulted on a $5 billion payment for the first time in its history, and is on track to miss its next payment of $5.6 billion next month.