U.S. Senator Mark Pryor today made the following statement regarding the USPS' decision to abandon its plan to close 186 post offices in Arkansas alone. Last week, Pryor spearheaded a letter from 45 Senators urging the USPS to extend its moratorium on post office closures until after a postal reform bill is enacted into law. During a follow-up conversation with Pryor, Postmaster General Pat Donahoe said the Postal Service will reduce hours at certain post offices following community input and workload considerations instead of closing them. Arkansas currently has 619 post offices, and the USPS estimates that 397 of them will operate on a reduced schedule. The USPS' plan will be implemented over two years.
The Postal Service is meeting us half way, which is a win for small communities who were about to lose their post offices entirely. I will continue to work with Arkansas communities to ensure their voice is heard before changes occur.
Last month, the Senate passed a bipartisan bill to put the Postal Service back on the road to financial stability. I am hopeful the House of Representatives will consider this bill soon, and allow the Postal Service to move forward in a responsible way.