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Democratic lawmakers call for US postal banking pilot programs

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Democratic lawmakers call for US postal banking pilot programs

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and U.S. Representatives Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Bill Pascrell Jr., D-N.J. on April 15 called on Congress to implement postal banking pilot programs in rural and urban communities throughout the country.

The implementation would be part of the Senate and House appropriations bills for fiscal 2022. Millions of Americans live in "bank deserts," or regions without immediate access to a brick-and-mortar bank, and 90% of zip codes that lack a bank or credit union are in rural areas, according to a press release.

Under the proposal, nonprofit postal banks would offer checking and savings accounts, low interest loans, check cashing, money wiring and ATM withdrawals without fees.

The lawmakers also called for $6 million in funding for the U.S. Postal Service in fiscal 2022 to execute the pilot programs to expand nonbank financial services offerings.

"The U.S. postal service is perfectly positioned to offer more financial services to every zip code: rural, urban and suburban," Kaptur said.