From Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.):
Senator Reaffirms Support for USPS Reform; USPS Continued Push to Rush Disastrously Flawed Closure Plan ‘Flies in the Face’ of Senate Reform Bill
Mikulski Plans to Hold Bill as Future of Easton AMP is Uncertain, Says Plan to Decide Mail Processing Future with No Public Input ‘Unacceptable’
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) announced today that she has placed a hold on Senate consideration of postal legislation as a result of the United States Postal Office’s (USPS) lack of public input or transparency in the possible closure of the Easton Mail Processing Center. In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senator Mikulski expressed that “while I absolutely agree that the USPS must be reformed to meet the country’s needs in the 21st Century, I must object to moving forward on consideration of this legislation while the USPS continues a rushed study to close a needed mail processing center on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.”
Last week, Senators Mikulski and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) sent a strongly worded letter to Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe expressing their outrage over the “total disregard for a transparent and public process for consideration of the closure and consolidation of the Easton mail processing center to the Hares Corner mail processing center in Wilmington, Delaware.” In the letter to the Postmaster General, the Senators demanded an open “public process.” A copy of their letter is available here.
The complete text of Senator Mikulski’s letter is below:
March 20, 2012
The Honorable Harry Reid
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Senator Reid,
I write to notify you that I am putting a hold on S. 1789, the Postal Reform bill, dated March 20, 2012. I will submit a copy of this notice to the Legislative Clerk and the Congressional Record within 2 session days and I give my permission to the objecting Senator to object in my name
While I absolutely agree that the United States Postal Service (USPS) must be reformed to meet the country’s needs in the 21st Century, I must object to moving forward on consideration of this legislation while the USPS continues a rushed study to close a needed mail processing center on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Making matters worse, USPS plans no public hearings and no opportunity for written comment in this study process. This is totally unacceptable.
The half a million residents who live on the Eastern Shore and rely on the mail service must have a voice in this process. These residents include farmers, small businesses and a significant rural and elderly population that relies heavily on mail delivery for life saving medications, daily newspapers, and important business documents.
The Easton area mail processing center is the only mail processing center on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and its ongoing operation is critically important to the economy of the shore. Relaxing delivery standards by moving mail processing from Easton to Delaware is simply not a practical or sustainable option.
My constituents have a right to be heard, they have a right to maintain the standard of delivery service that they currently receive, and they deserve a fair and transparent process for decisions about the Easton area mail processing center.
I’m grateful for your leadership, and I look forward to working with you to ensure that the Postal Service remains financially solvent and ready for the 21st Century. But I must object to consideration of S. 1789 while this issue remains outstanding and I grant permission for you (or your designee) to object in my name.
Barbara A. Mikulski
United States Senator