Common Questions About Post Office Closures

The Congressional Research Service has released a report that tries to answer common questions about post office closings- from the report’s introduction:

In recent years, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has announced initiatives to close up to 4,380 USPS retail facilities in rural, suburban, and urban areas. In May 2012, the agency may have changed course. The USPS issued a plan to “preserve” rural post offices, in great part by reducing their operating hours. In the same instance, the agency noted it was reviewing the status of 13,000 rural post offices, some of which might be closed. Thus, how many post offices may be closed remains unclear.

More than a dozen bills in the 112th Congress carry provisions that address post offices and the public’s access to retail postal services, including H.R. 2309, H.R. 2692, S. 1668, and S. 1789.

This report addresses common questions about the closure of post offices. Questions answered include (1) What is a post office? (2) How many post offices are there? (3) How many post offices might the USPS close? (4) What authority does the USPS have to close post offices? (5) What is the current post office closure process? (6) What is the role of the Postal Regulatory Commission in post office closures? (7) When might the post office closure process begin? (8) How many USPS employees may lose their jobs? and (9) What current legislation carries provisions related to post offices?

This report will be updated to reflect significant developments.

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Common Questions About Post Office Closures