With the deadline of the May 15 moratorium on closures of postal facilities and mail processing centers rapidly approaching, thousands of jobs around the country are at risk. The Senate has already passed legislation to reform the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), which would prevent post office closures. The House, however, has yet to consider postal reform legislation.
Congressman Jim McGovern signed onto the following letter from Reps. DeLauro and Braley to the Postmaster General urging an extension of the May 15th moratorium on post office and mail processing facility closures.
Dear Postmaster General Donahue,
We write to urge you to extend the May 15 moratorium on post office and mail processing facility closures until the Congress has completed action on postal reform legislation. The recent Senate passage of the 21st Century Postal Service Act of 2012 (S. 1789) is evidence that Congress is moving toward putting the United States Postal Service (USPS) on a path to sustainability, and suggests that it would be imprudent of USPS to close any facilities until Congress completes legislation on this critical issue.
We understand that the USPS cannot sustain itself under its current system, and we agree it is up to Congress to act. There are, however, a number of cost saving provisions in the Senate bill that require consideration, including access to $11 billion that USPS overpaid into federal retirement accounts. In addition, the bill would reduce the amount of money that USPS has to prefund for retiree health benefits by amortizing the costs over 40 years and re-calculating those costs more appropriately. Finally, the bill would allow the postal service to provide additional services, creating more opportunity for additional revenue. Without an extension of the May 15 moratorium, Congress will not be given the opportunity to fully consider these cost-saving provisions.
Furthermore, we also urge you to recognize the disastrous impact that the closings of Area Mail Processing Centers and other facilities across the country would have on local and national unemployment. The USPS is a major employer around the country and employs over 8 million workers. With an unacceptably high unemployment rate, this is a particularly inopportune that the USPS to close facilities.
Again, we urge you to extend the May 15 moratorium to allow Congress time to finalize comprehensive postal reform legislation that would take meaningful steps to create a financially sound future for the USPS, while leaving intact the important services Americans rely on and expect. It is critically important the postal service not preempt Congressional action by unilaterally progressing with elimination of overnight delivery, allowing for major shutdowns across the country of mail processing facilities.
Thank you for your consideration of this critical issue. We look forward to continuing our work to create a more stable fiscal future for the USPS while also upholding this essential service for our communities, state, and country.