WASHINGTON — Americans can still send and receive mail, but the U.S. Postal Service might not have much left in the bank after this week, as it's set to announce billions of dollars in losses as early as today.
It's also waiting for postal regulators to announce today whether they approve of a proposed 5.6 percent postage rate increase, to start in January. The proposed increase faces stiff resistance from business groups and lawmakers, who say the Postal Service should instead make deeper spending cuts to meet its financial obligations.
Republican opposition kept Congress from permitting the Postal Service to postpone paying $5.5 billion required by law to prefund retiree health benefits. A temporary spending measure to fund most federal programs through early December didn't mention the Postal Service; it passed the Senate on Wednesday and is expected to clear the House today.
Postmaster General John Potter canceled a Wednesday meeting with reporters that was meant to address the financial concerns.