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Postal Service, Treasury Reach Deal on $10 Billion Pandemic Relief Loan

July 30, 2020 by Dan McCue
Postal Service, Treasury Reach Deal on $10 Billion Pandemic Relief Loan
Then-Elon Trustee Louis DeJoy was honored with Elon's 2017 Medal for Entrepreneurial Leadership in Elon. N.C. He is now U.S. Post Master General. (Kim Walker/Elon University via AP)

WASHINGTON – Nearly four months after Congress approved a $10 billion loan for the struggling U.S. Postal Service as part of the CARES Act, the service and the Treasury Department have struck a deal on the terms of the loan.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who took office last month, announced the agreement in principle on Wednesday, and said he expects the parties to formally memorialize the agreement through loan documents in coming weeks.

“Access to an additional $10 billion in borrowing authority will delay the approaching liquidity crisis.” DeJoy said in a written statement. “The Postal Service, however, remains on an unsustainable path and we will continue to focus on improving operational efficiency and pursuing other reforms in order to put the Postal Service on a trajectory for long-term financial stability.”

Dejoy, a major donor to President Donald Trump, has been a lightning rod for controversy since taking control of the agency, criticized for plans to close post offices and eliminate overtime for hundreds of thousands of postal workers just as many states move to mail-in voting for the 2020 general election.

Sen Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has been particularly vocal about reports of looming closures and service cuts in his state. 

“It’s just asinine to think that you can shut something down or throttle it back in terms of the pandemic when basically the lifeline for voting and democracy is going to be in the hands of the Postal Service,” Manchin said last week.

The Associated Press recently reported on an internal memo circulated within the Post Services that described the need for an “operational pivot” to make the cash-strapped agency financially stable.

The USPS Board of Governors has already given its unanimous approval to the deal.

The board will hold its next public meeting Aug. 7.

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