The combined COVID-19 stimulus and government funding bill passed by Congress Monday night effectively forgives a $10 billion loan made to the United States Postal Service under the CARES Act signed into law in late March, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Lawmakers agreed to language in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 that would convert the loan from the Treasury Department to a grant. This means the Postal Service would not need to repay the loan and still keep the money. It is unclear if that is the only provision in the bill that affects the Postal Service. It is believed that the Postal Service, which is sitting on approximately $15 billion in cash, has never tapped the credit line. Agency officials did not respond to requests for comment.
The bill, which runs more than 5,000 pages, combines $892 billion in COVID relief with $1.4 trillion in spending to fund federal agency budgets through next September and avoid an end-of-year government shutdown. President Donald Trump has attacked the legislation because it fails to provide qualifying adult Americans with a larger one-time payment than the $600 approved by lawmakers.