SALISBURY, Md.- With a midnight deadline looming, every indication Wednesday was that the U.S. Postal Service would default on billions of dollars due to the Treasury for the first time in history.
The Postal Service is legally required to make healthcare payments, including $5.5 billion due Wednesday. The default would not have any immediate effects but creates uncertainty for the future of the USPS.
While the Senate has passed a postal reform bill to try to save the failing service, so far the House has not taken any action.
From Dover to Easton to Salisbury, almost everyone expressed the same thoughts to WBOC.
"It would make sense to have the government stepping in to help," said Ty Crittenden of Dover.
"Let's make a decision that is in the best interest of the people you are working for," remarked Don Wright of Easton.
"I think they need to step in and save the Postal Service," noted Salisbury resident Michele Hastings.
For Hastings, it is a vital service.
"I'm an Ebayer and I come here every day," she said.
And she worries if Congress fails to act, people like her will wind up paying for it.
"There's other competition and without the Postal Service, there wouldn't be any competition and the prices could be raised up as much as they want to."
The USPS is losing money at a rate of $25 million a day and the future isn't looking any brighter.
"Bail them out, I guess that seems to be the course of what we've been doing lately so I wouldn't see why the post office should be any different," remarked Bill Matthews of Lewes.
"They bailed out the car industry and that worked and I think we've got a lot of postal employees that we should stand behind as far as I'm concerned, they should get rid of some of the people at the top making the big bucks," added Easton resident Margaret Danels.
But the idea of yet another government bailout doesn't sit well with everyone.
"How many more people can you help, I mean, they're helping so many people and where's the money going to come from? Who's going to get cut," remarked Kathie Bushman of Princess Anne.
WBOC reached out to some local politicians for reaction.
Delaware Sen. Tom Carper said, "The House of Representatives has had nine months to do the right thing and fix the serious, but solvable, financial challenges plaguing the U.S. Postal Service. If House Leaders will stop punting on postal reform and start voting, we can preserve the Postal Service for future generations."
Yet, according to Maryland Congressman Andy Harris, "Obviously, the U.S. Postal Service is on the brink of bankruptcy. That's why the Senate bill, which just kicks the can further down the road, and costs the taxpayers $11 billion, is a bad idea."
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