Republican Senator pushing USPS to keep Minot ND plant open

MINOT, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today spoke with Drew Aliperto, United States Postal Service (USPS) vice president of area operations for the western area, to press for the continued operation of the Minot Area Mail Processing facility.

In 2011, the USPS began studying more than 250 mail processing facilities nationwide for possible consolidation or closure. By February 2014, 141 facilities had been consolidated, and the USPS announced a freeze on further action for the remaining facilities, including Minot. This week, however, the Postal Service notified affected facilities that it is resuming the plan.

Hoeven’s call was prompted by Monday’s announcement that the USPS planned to close as many as 82 mail processing facilities, including Minot, beginning in January 2015. At Hoeven’s request, however, Aliperto committed to further evaluating the Minot facility in light of significant population growth in the Minot region, which includes the northwest North Dakota oil counties. Aliperto said specifically that he planned to evaluate the facility’s mail volume over the coming weeks and would contact the senator with his results.

“While identifying cost savings are crucial to ensuring the long-term sustainability of the Postal Service, it makes no sense to close facilities in rapidly growing parts of the country, like Minot and western North Dakota,” Hoeven said. “The Postal Service needs to consider North Dakota’s strong economic and population growth not only now but in the future when making a decision on the Minot facility.”

North Dakota is currently experiencing unprecedented development, which is increasing demands on local services and infrastructure. The Minot region is experiencing an influx of businesses and people from expansions in the energy industry.

Hoeven has been a strong advocate for providing quality postal services in fast growing North Dakota. He has hosted both Aliperto and U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe in the state to see firsthand the tremendous commercial and demographic growth in the area and its impacts on postal service. The senator worked to get more personnel and facilities in North Dakota, including a second full-service post office in Williston, which opened this week, and a memorandum of understanding between USPS and the Rural Letter Carriers Association to grant pay increases and bonuses to recruit and retain rural carriers in the Bakken region. The MOU includes Minot, Dickinson, Williston, Watford City and most of the communities in western North Dakota. The Postal Service has also agreed to add more career positions at the state’s post offices.

Read more: Hoeven Working to Keep Minot Area Processing Facility Operating – News Releases – Press Office – United States Senator John Hoeven for North Dakota.

Murkowski Gets FedEx to Rethink its Rural P.O. Box Policies

Waiting for days to get prescription drugs. Trips to the post office to find an empty box where your business-critical supplies should be. After hearing these and other rural Alaskans’ frustrations about FedEx delivery problems that occur when FedEx hands packages over to the United States Postal Service in Anchorage for the final miles of delivery, Senator Lisa Murkowski’s efforts led FedEx CEO to reconsider its protocols. Continue reading

House Committee Passes Amendment Restoring Six Day Delivery Requirement

Washington, DC – June 25, 2014 – Today, Congressman José E. Serrano succeeded in restoring language to an annual appropriations bill requiring the United States Postal Service to maintain six day delivery. The bipartisan amendment, which Congressman Serrano sponsored with Congressman Tom Latham (R-IA), passed and was added to the fiscal year 2015 Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill. Continue reading

CBO: Issa’s postal bill would save USPS $23.6 billion, cost taxpayers $6.6 billion

The Congressional Budget Office has released its estimate of the budget impact of Darrell Issa’s postal bill, HR 2748. The bill would reduce USPS expenses by

  • eliminating Saturday mail delivery
  • reducing benefits to postal workers and retirees
  • eliminating home delivery of mail for some customers
  • changing the pre-funding formula for USPS future retiree health benefits

The CBO says that those measures would save the USPS $23.6 billion over the next ten years. The estimate assumes that customers would be willing to pay increased rates for the reduced services the USPS would offer in the future. The Issa bill would also shift $6.6 billion in costa to the taxpayer, increasing the federal budget deficit. (Apparently it’s not a “bailout” if Congressman Issa proposes it?)

CBO Estimate: H.R.2748 – 113th Congress (2013-2014): Postal Reform Act of 2013 | Congress.gov | Library of Congress.

Issa silences Democrats, tells them they aren’t allowed to question his “integrity”

The postal service wasn’t on the agenda at Monday’s session of the Issa House Oversight Committee, but what happened at the latest of Issa’s IRS/Benghazi show trials goes a long way towards explaining why the committee, and the House as a whole, are unable to deal with postal reform- or much else, aside from making a mockery of the legislative process. From Roll Call:

US-POLITICS-IRS-LERNER

Darrell Issa signals an aide to silence Rep. Elijah Cummings’ microphone at one of his “hearings”

Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee went after IRS Commissioner John Koskinen again Monday, while Democrats on the panel reserved much of their ire for Chairman Darrell Issa. Issa, involved in a high-profile clash earlier this year with Elijah Cummings, the senior Democrat on the panel, was criticized repeatedly during Monday’s hearing by Democrats who dismissed the proceeding as election-year posturing.

At one point, the California Republican warned Democrats that House rules forbid members from questioning the integrity or motives of other members — touching off a heated protest from Rep. Steven Horsford. The Nevada Democrat angrily contrasted Issa’s admonition Monday with the March 5 incident, in which Cummings’ microphone was turned off mid-statement on Issa’s orders. Issa repeatedly cut Horsford off, insisting the lawmaker “state a point of parliamentary inquiry,” until Cummings broke in and asked the chairman to “Let him ask the question.”

“I will not,” Issa said.

Read more: Issa, Cummings Clash Anew Over Hearing on Lost IRS Emails.