A group of 22 Senators, mostly Democrats, has written to the Senate Appropriations Committee, asking for a moratorium on further USPS plant closures and service cutbacks. The group includes Jon Tester, D-Mont., Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc.; Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and John Hoeven, R-N.D. The Senators say that the USPS plans will harm local communities and the nation’s economy.
Here is the text of the letter:
The United States Postal Service (USPS) is facing many serious challenges. While a number of reform proposals have been introduced in both the Senate and the House to tackle these problems over the past several years, we have yet to enact legislation. In the absence of Congressional compromise, the Postal Service has proposed more sweeping changes to its Operations.
The Postmaster General has announced that the Postal Service will consolidate up to 82 more mail processing facilities and eliminate up to 15,000 more jobs in 2015. This wave of closures will directly impact 37 states across our nation, and more importantly, the citizens who count on their Postal Service to be reliable. At a time when our middle-class is disappearing, the loss of 15,000 good-paying Postal Service jobs will harm our local communities and economies.
The Postal Service has already consolidated 141 mail processing facilities since 2012. As the postal network has been weakened, service delivery has suffered. Since the Postal Service slowed down the delivery of first class mail over two years ago by revising its service standards, it has been more difficult for the American public and small businesses to receive mail in a timely marmer. Slowing down mail delivery even further will hurt senior citizens on fixed incomes, small businesses and the entire economy.
To address this immediate problem, we respectfully request that you include language in any omnibus appropriations legislation or continuing resolution that would prevent the USPS from closing or consolidating any more area mail processing facilities during Fiscal Year 2015.
In addition, we would ask that you include language to maintain and comply with service standards for First Class Mail and periodicals effective on July l, 2012. This one-year moratorium will give Congress the time it needs to enact the comprehensive postal reforms that are necessary for the Postal Service to function effectively into the future.
We look forward to working with you on this important issue. Thank you for your consideration.