Postal worker Arana Glenda delivers mail along her route in the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans, Louisiana on November 14, 2011. Glenda's mail route remains scattered but has picked up in the last two years as a few residents begin to rebuild. Ann Hermes/Staff
US Park Police Officer Calvin Covington gets to the front of the line with his horse Harper to mail his family's income tax returns at a mobile post office near the Internal Revenue Service building in downtown Washington, April 15, 2010. Jonathan Ernst /Reuters
A crate of live bees sits at the Mount Vernon Post Office in Mount Vernon, Ohio, April 10, 2012. The bees were shipped by Anthony Simpson who runs a mail order and online business out of his home under the name "Simpson's Bee Supply" shipping live honey bee boxes, including a queen. Brooke LaValley/Columbus Dispatch/AP
United States Postal Service letter carrier Lynne Church gives some attention to Molly the Golden Retriever who walks out with her owner Stuart Boline to get the mail in front of their Apache Avenue home, March 20, 2012, in Jacksonville, Florida. Church says, "I love the dogs on my route, they are all good dogs." Kelly Jordan/The Florida Times-Union/AP
Postal Service letter carrier Scott Peters gets a face full of ice and snow while making his mail deliveries in Lewiston, Maine, Feb. 14, 2007. Jose Leiva/Lewiston Sun Journal/AP
Letter carrier K Ng delivers mail using the Segway Human Transporter on the streets of San Francisco, July 15, 2002. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors banned the Segway from its sidewalks in 2003, citing concerns that the scooters pose a threat to disabled persons and senior citizens. Michael Macor/San Francisco Chronicle/AP
Postman Terry Handy retrieves mail at a box along a flooded sidewalk Sept. 27, 2004, in the San Marco section of Jacksonville, Fla., in the aftermath of Hurricane Jeanne. Jon M. Fletcher/The Florida Times-Union/AP
U.S. Postal Service mail carrier Jack Chen sits in his stuck vehicle as he waits for some help from Sunland/Tujunga Neighborhood Councilmember David Cain and a Los Angeles County Fire Department truck to get him out of the mud on Big Tujunga Canyon Road in Tujunga, Calif., Jan. 21, 2010. Hans Gutknecht/LA Daily News/AP
Members of the Ft. Lee Decontamination squad enter the West Street branch post office in Petersburg, Va., Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2004. A letter with white powder was discovered in the facility prompting a response from the decontamination team and testing of the substance. Kate Cosby/Progress Index/AP
The United States Post Office in the Old City neighborhood of Philadelphia, July 26, 2011, predates the American colonies and is on the list of branches that could close. The post office is the only one in the country that doesn't fly a U.S. flag because there wasn't one in 1775, when Benjamin Franklin founded what has evolved into today's Postal Service. Alex Brandon/AP
Santa Claus, also known as Patrick Farmer, at Santa Claus House in North Pole, Alaska, Nov. 18, 2009, holds letters sent from children. The U.S. Postal Service no longer delivers the letters, citing privacy concerns. The generically addressed letters to "Santa Claus, North Pole" were once forwarded to volunteers in the Alaska town. Sam Harrel/AP
Jeff Gambell (l.), dressed as Darth Vader from the Star Wars movies, stands with other customers at the U.S. Post Office in Norwood, Massachusetts May 25, 2007, the 30-year anniversary of the release of the first Star Wars film. Gambell was on hand as the U.S. Postal Service released commemorative stamps in honor of the anniversary of the movie. Brian Snyder /Reuters
Valerie Ustinovich can barely see over the nine packages she is carrying into the U.S. Post Office in York, Pa., Monday, Dec. 15, 2003. Jason Plotkin/The York Dispatch/AP
Charlie Chamberlain is contracted by the US Postal Service to bring mail to Supai, Arizona. A mule train is the most economical and dependable way to get the mail and groceries to the Native American village, which is 9 miles down in the Grand Canyon. Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff
Postal bill averts 3,700 post-office closings for at least two years, but fails to address deeper, structural problems in how the postal service manages a vast operation, rivaled only by Wal-Mart in total employment.
In a rare bipartisan vote, the Senate on Wednesday passed a postal reform bill to head off a potential shutdown at the struggling US Postal Service, which now owes $13 billion to the Treasury and is expected to run out of cash as early as this summer.