Senate nears passage of bill to slow postal cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) - A Senate bill aimed at saving the U.S. Postal Service would make it harder to close thousands of low-revenue post offices and end Saturday mail delivery, even though the struggling agency says those steps are needed to reduce billions in debt and become profitable again.

The measure takes steps to help the mail agency avert bankruptcy as early as this fall, giving it a cash infusion of $11 billion. But it sidesteps most controversial decisions on postal closings.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe has criticized the Senate bill as a short-term answer. And Arizona Sen. John McCain says the bill "kicks the can down the road."

The Senate is scheduled to vote as early as today on a final bill, which is expected to pass.


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