Senate-Passed Coronavirus Stimulus Bill Provides Limited Postal Assistance

Late last night, March 25, the Senate passed a $2 trillion economic stimulus package by a unanimous 96-0 vote. An unrelated and already passed-House tax bill (H.R. 748) served as the legislative vehicle for the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.” Unlike the House bill introduced earlier this week (H.R. 6379), the Senate-passed bill did not include additional appropriations for the U.S.Postal Service or relief from past debt; nor did the Senate bill include a nation-wide initiative to implement vote-by-mail. However, the Senate-passed bill would enable the Postal Service to borrow an additional $10 billion from the U.S. Treasury, under conditions established by the Secretary of the Treasury. In addition, simlar to the H.R. 6379, the Senate bill would prioritze the mail delivery of medical products and provide the Postal Service with flexibility in establishing temporary delivery points. Finally, Senate-passed H.R. 748 would authorize an additional $400 million for state election security grants, to be administered by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. States could use this funding for mail ballots.

The House of Representatives will likely take up the Senate-passed bill tomorrow, March 27, and intends to pass it by voice vote. President Trump has indicated that he would sign H.R. 748 into law.

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