Congressman Bill Owens announced today that there will be a moratorium on the closing or consolidation of any post office or mail processing facility until May 15, 2012.
"This is great news for those who depend on their local postal facilities for the vital services they provide," said Owens. "It is my hope that, during this moratorium, we will be able to convince the USPS that there are other options -- like my legislation to co-locate post offices so that they remain in your community -- rather than simply closing facilities."
Congressman Owens has been active in the fight to maintain postal while helping the USPS to cut costs. This month, Owens introduced legislation, the Community Postal Service Preservation and Cost Savings Act, which would require the USPS to review and consider co-locating post offices at retail facilities and municipal buildings. This bill would help the USPS system work better for its customers and employees while recovering funds that could be used to preserve rural mail service.
Owens has also heard from and met with thousands of constituents to gather public input on the best plan of attack to keep post offices open. He has also kept in consistent contact with Postmaster General Donahue and Postal Regulatory Commission Chairwoman Goldway on a host of issues related to maintaining post offices and facilities around the congressional district.
"These postal facilities serve as a place to meet and gather, as an anchor for many downtown areas, and as a driver for job creation and economic development. It is critical that we work to find a solution that works best for rural areas and practices fiscal responsibility," said Owens.
Owens is also a co-sponsor of H.R. 1351, the USPS Pension Obligation Recalculation and Restoration Act, a bipartisan piece of legislation to help the USPS recoup nearly $7 billion in overpayments to its pension fund.