Baucus: Postal Service Will Delay Closures for Five Months
Senator Fought to Stave off Post Office Closures, Continues Work with Congressional Leaders on Postal Reform
Posted: Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Posted: Tuesday, December 13, 2011
(Washington, D.C.) - Montana's senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus today announced the U.S. Postal Service will delay closures of U.S. Postal Service area mail processing facilities or post offices for five months. In a letter last week, Baucus pressed for a plan that would allow Congress to provide appropriate measures to address the Postal Service's fiscal problems without shutting down post offices in the meantime.
"I'm glad we were able to secure more time to work together and find a real solution to the Postal Service's financial burdens. Closing rural post offices and sending Montana area mail processing facilities out of state won't create the kind of savings necessary for a long term solution. We have a lot of work to in the next five months, and I'll keep doing everything I can to find the best solution for Montana," Baucus said.
Senator Baucus has introduced legislation to help the Postal Service address one of the most serious financial burdens threatening the push it into default while preventing the closure of some of the most remote rural Post Offices. Full text of Baucus' bill is available HERE.
Last week's letter (text available below) is the latest in Baucus' continued efforts to keep rural Montana Post Offices open and ensure Montanans are heard in the process.
Text of last week's letter is below, and today's USPS announcement is attached.
Dear Majority Leader Reid, Minority Leader McConnell, Chairman Inouye, and Ranking Member Cochran:
Everyone understands that the United States Postal Service (USPS) is experiencing significant financial problems today and that changes need to be made as the USPS adjusts to a digital world.
To address this serious problem, Congress is in the midst of significantly reforming the postal service. Several bills have been introduced in the Senate and the House on this issue. On November 9th, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee passed the 21st Century Postal Service Act, S.1789, by a vote of 9-1. The House is also moving forward with postal reform legislation.
While we may have very different views on how to financially improve the postal service, we all believe that democratically elected members of the Senate and the House have the responsibility to make significant changes to the postal service.
Unfortunately, we are concerned that the postal service may preempt Congress on this matter by closing or consolidating nearly 3,700 mostly rural post offices, over 250 mail processing facilities, and eliminating overnight delivery for first class mail before postal reform legislation is enacted. While some of these changes may be needed, we believe that it is very important to give Congress the opportunity to reform the postal service in a way that protects universal service while ensuring its financial viability for decades to come.
Therefore, we respectfully ask that you include language in the next appropriations to prevent the USPS from closing or consolidating area mail processing facilities or rural post offices for the next six months. This six month moratorium will give Congress the time needed to enact reforms necessary for the postal service to succeed in the 21st century.
We look forward to working with you on this important issue. Thank you for your consideration.
(end letter text)
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