Senate seeks to slow closing of rural post offices

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Hope Yen

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has moved to impose new restrictions on the closing of rural post offices.

Under the measure, the ailing U.S. Postal Service would be barred from closing post offices for one year if they are located in rural areas, those with fewer than 50,000 people. The exception would be if there were no community opposition.

The measure was among revisions to a bill aimed at stabilizing the Postal Service. The main bill would provide a short-term cash infusion while delaying decisions on thousands of post office closings and ending Saturday mail delivery.

A final vote is expected Wednesday.

The mail agency says it needs to begin closings this year as part of a billion-dollar cost-cutting effort. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe previously agreed to delay closings until May 15.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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