Despite maxing out a $15 billion line of credit with the U.S. Treasury last month, the U.S. Postal Service can scrape by at least through March.
That’s according to Ruth Goldway, chair of the Postal Regulatory Commission, the agency that oversees the Postal Service. The commission meets with USPS officials following the release of each quarterly financial report, the last of which was in August. In the ensuing review, the Postal Service “projected that they would be able to continue operating without disruption until at least midway through the fiscal year without any action by Congress,” Goldway said in a statement to Federal Times. Fiscal 2013 began this month; the mid-point arrives at the end of March. The projection included the presumption that the Postal Service would hit the $15 billion borrowing cap, a commission spokeswoman said.
The mail carrier reached that unwelcome threshold Sept. 28. In an email, USPS spokesman Dave Partenheimer acknowledged that cash flow will be a particular concern in the second half of fiscal 2013 unless lawmakers approve a comprehensive fix to return the Postal Service to long-term financial stability (a very big if at this point). While declining to comment on any particular date, Partenheimer added that the Postal Service will prioritize payments to ensure that workers and suppliers get paid. Customers “do not need to worry about any interruption in our operations.”
One other factor in the Postal Service’s favor: it expects to pick up a fresh $1.3 billion in fiscal 2013 revenue courtesy of a series of rate hikes scheduled to take effect in late January.