With strong bipartisan support, a Senate panel yesterday,  passed a measure by Senator Jon Tester to prevent the U.S. Postal Service from closing rural post offices until it establishes clear criteria for determining whether a post office should be closed. The proposal also fully considers alternative ways to save money, such as shortening hours of operation and relocating post offices to other places of business.  During the hearing, Tester also pushed to hold the Postmaster General more accountable for the Postal Service’s actions. The 21st Century Postal Service Act, now awaits a vote by the full Senate.