(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester today voted against a bill to restructure the Postal Service, saying the measure “moves the Postal Service closer to privatization and could hurt rural mail delivery.”
Tester voted against the bill as a member of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee that oversees the Postal Service. Tester has worked for years to reach a fair compromise that puts the Postal Service on sound financial footing while keeping mail delivery service standards strong.
“Half measures won’t balance the Postal Service’s books or preserve needed mail service in rural America,” Tester said. “This bill shirks our responsibility to fix the Postal Service and further leads the organization down the path to privatization, which will further cut mail service in rural America. Better solutions exist, and I will keep working with my colleagues to include them in the bill.”
Tester says the bill would do nothing to reverse the closing of mail processing facilities nationwide, which has resulted in delayed mail delivery throughout rural America. The bill also fails to fully address the requirement that the Postal Service prepay retirement benefits of postal employees at a rate higher than necessary, but includes sweeping changes to the federal workers compensation program, even though the committee has yet to hold a single hearing on the issue.
Tester backed a bipartisan Senate plan in 2012 that gave the Postal Service the flexibility it needs to restructure while protecting postal service in rural states like Montana, but the House of Representatives never voted on the plan.
Tester has a long-record of working to reform the Postal Service while making sure rural Montanans can still reliably get their mail and packages. He successfully got the Postal Service to keep Saturday delivery in 2013, protected rural post offices from closure, and kept the Missoula mail processing facility open.
The Postal Reform Act will next be considered by the full Senate. Tester will continue to work to amend the bill to make sure it works for rural America.