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The U.S. Postal Service owes the Treasury Department $5.5 billion. The bill is due today, but the postal agency cannot make the payment. Nothing will happen in the near term: Post offices will not shut down overnight, and people will still be able to send letters and packages through the mail. But the default underscores not only the financial woes plaguing the nation's mail system but also dysfunction in a partisan Congress, which controls the Postal Service. Some say privatizing the mail agency is the only way to stanch the flow of red ink. Others blame Congress' requirement to pre-fund postal retirees' health benefits. The future of the U.S. Postal Service.
Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Cures Act in a rare bi-partisan effort. The bill is meant to speed the development of lifesaving treatments, but critics warn it may also allow ineffective or even harmful drugs onto the market.