U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, PA-11, commended the decision by the U.S. Postal Service to delay closing any mail processing facilities or post offices until May 2012 to allow Congress time to work on a plan to save the service.
"This is good news, both for residents who rely on the United States Postal Service to obtain much-needed packages and correspondence, and for employees who rely on the postal service for good, family-sustaining jobs," Rep. Barletta said. "I strongly believe the postal service should continue to deliver mail six days a week, and that it continue to deliver the mail in a timely manner. This delay should give Congress time to reform the postal service so it is efficient, effective, and affordable."
In a December 6, 2011, letter to Megan Brennan, chief operating officer and executive vice president of the Postal Service, and Kevin McAdams, the Central Pennsylvania District's manager of consumer and industry contact, Rep. Barletta and Rep. Tom Marino, PA-10, said the closures of mail processing facilities in Scranton and Williamsport would "seriously impact the USPS's reputation for customer service and prompt delivery" and could have "drastic consequences" for residents in their districts.
Barletta and Marino cited the impact on constituents who rely on the Postal Service to pay their bills and deliver mail-order prescriptions. The closure of the two facilities would "greatly impede" the Postal Service's ability to deliver important emergency information in the event of a national security emergency, damage to the nation's cyber infrastructure, or prolonged shutdown of the electrical grid.
Rep. Barletta's staff attended a recent public meeting regarding the potential closing of the Scranton processing facility.
Additionally, Rep. Barletta is actively working to help the postal service and protect its employees through his cosponsorship and strong support of H.R. 1351, the United States Postal Service Pension Obligation Recalculation and Restoration Act of 2011. This bipartisan bill would allow the Postal Service to apply billions of dollars in pension overpayments to the congressional mandate that requires the USPS to pre-fund the healthcare benefits of future retirees.
H.R. 1351 could protect the mail processing facility in Scranton and Williamsport, and other postal processing facilities in Pennsylvania, because it would alleviate the need for some of the drastic cost-cutting measures the USPS is being forced to consider.
Earlier this year, dozens of postal workers took to the streets in front of Rep. Barletta's Hazleton District Office to thank him for his support of H.R. 1351 and the postal service employees.