SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — As the U.S. Postal Service was bracing for its first default on billion dollar loan payments due to the Treasury, Minority House Leader Nancy Pelosi placed the blame on inaction by the GOP.

The agency was expected to fail to make a $5.5 billion payment toward retiree health benefits, as well as another $5.6 billion payment due in September.

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Last April, the Senate passed a measure to provide $11 billion to help the agency avoid defaults, and pay for other costs, which some House Republicans viewed as a bailout for the struggling service.

“Congress must reject calls for a taxpayer-funded bailout and instead focus on the need to enact comprehensive reform that mandates cuts to operating expenses”, said Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla).

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Pelosi blamed Wednesday’s expected default on House Republicans’ for refusing to act on the legislation.  “To manufacture yet another crisis, the Republican leadership refused to allow consideration of postal reform legislation.”

The default was not expected to affect day-to-day postal service.

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