Recently, the Postal Service announced it will not close any of the 167 post offices in Missouri that were being considered for closure or consolidation, nor will it close the more than 3,700 post offices nationwide as part of USPS' Expanded Access study. The plan would keep the existing Post Office in place, but with modified retail window hours to match customer use. Access to the retail lobby and to PO Boxes would remain unchanged, and the town's ZIP Code and community identity would be retained. The new strategy would be implemented over a two-year, multi-phased approach and would not be completed until September 2014.
"This announcement is good news for all communities in Missouri and in the Fifth District. This compromise will save money while ensuring universal service for all. But even with this announcement, there is more work to be done," said Congressman Cleaver. Action on postal reform is long overdue. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) ended the fiscal year with a $5.1 billion loss. Earlier this fall, the Postal Service announced its plan to eliminate its current overnight delivery standard, and replace it with a 2-3 day delivery standard. Using this model, mail service would be reduced from six to five days, giving away a key competitive advantage of the USPS.
Last month, by a bipartisan vote, the Senate passed S. 1789, the 21st Century Postal Service Act of 2012. The Senate bill included a provision to protect Missouri's rural post offices with a one-year moratorium on closures, and stronger rules to make sure the Postal Service serves all of its customers across the country. There are many competing House proposals to reform the Postal Service. While far from perfect, S. 1789 has bipartisan support and will strengthen the USPS for generations to come. Congressman Cleaver has joined with many of his colleagues in respectfully urging the Republican Leadership to bring this bill to a vote in the House as soon as possible.
Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. Representative for Missouri's Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Independence, Lee's Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Belton, Raymore and Peculiar, Missouri. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee. Congressman Cleaver also serves as a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus and Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.