WASHINGTON (AP) - The nearly bankrupt U.S. Postal Service is moving ahead with plans to close dozens of mail processing centers, saying it can no longer wait for Congress to decide how to cut postal costs.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe says postal operations are simply too big given declining mail volume. The agency will consolidate 140 mail processing centers within the next year, including 48 this August. Most will occur next January and February, after the busy election and holiday mail season.  The Waite Park Distribution Center is slated to close, with the operation being consolidated with the one in Minneapolis.  About 70 people at the Waite Park facility are expected to lose their job.

Another 89 closings would occur in 2014.

The Postal Service had previously planned to close 252 mail processing centers beginning this summer but was awaiting congressional action.

With Congress stalled over a bill, the mail agency say it is moving forward, but now over a longer timeframe.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved)