WASHINGTON (AP) - With big postal cuts looming, the Senate is deciding whether to stabilize the ailing U.S. Postal Service with a short-term cash infusion while delaying most decisions on closing post offices and ending Saturday mail delivery.

The mail agency, teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, says it needs to begin closing thousands of low-revenue post offices and mail processing centers this year. One of the mail processing facilities marked for closure is the one in Waite Park.

A Senate bill being debated this week would slow, if not stop, many of the closings. It forces the agency to consider the needs of rural communities and undergo additional review. The Senate voted today (Thursday) 74-22 to move forward with the Postal Reform bill.

The Postal Service would get a cash infusion of $11 billion - basically a refund of overpayments it made to a federal retirement fund. The agency could use the money to pay down debt and offer employee buyouts.

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