Post Office About to Default

Bill due Wednesday for $5.5 billion to prepay retirement benefits.


Without help from Congress, the U.S. Postal Service is likely to default on a big bill due Wednesday to the federal government—$5.5 billion to prepay health care benefits for retirees.

Postal officials have said they're bracing for default on the payment. They also don't have the money to make a $5.6 billion payment due Sept. 30.

Congress alone has the power to help the service. The Senate passed a bill to help the service back in April, but the full House has yet to consider the issue.