The U.S. Postal Service has spent nearly all of the $10 billion Congress allocated to it last year to offset losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, placing the mailing agency in an improved financial position after recently cautioning it may have to cease its normal operations.
USPS has exhausted $8.6 billion from the appropriation, which has come in the form of reimbursements of expenses from the Treasury Department. Congress first authorized the funds in March 2020 as a loan included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, leading to a drawn out negotiation with the Trump administration over the terms for accessing the money. Congress in December passed another COVID-19 relief measure that negated the Postal Service’s obligation to repay the money.
Still, USPS said in a statement it is accessing the money “consistent with our understanding with the Department of Treasury.” That agreement triggered outcry that the Trump administration was placing onerous conditions on postal management, though USPS denied that Trump officials were seeking undue influence on its operations.