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KHQA - Sen. McCaskill Campaigns to Keep Rural Post Offices

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Date:
Location: New London, MO

By Brooke Hasch

She's on a mission to save rural post offices in Missouri.

Monday, Sen. Claire McCaskill hit the campaign trail in Northeast Missouri promoting legislation to reform the U.S. Postal Service. The senator's first stop was at the the Forget Me Not Senior Citizens Center in New London.

"These post offices are much more than brick and mortar," McCaskill said.

In the last year, hundreds of post offices across the state feared closure due to a nation-wide budget cut to the system.

"I remember the post offices and I remember what they meant," McCaskill said.

McCaskill supporter Mary Ann Lovell says her Louisiana post office isn't in danger but surrounding post offices are.

"I am alarmed that a lot of others are going to lose theirs or are in danger of losing it," Lovell said.

McCaskill says she helped pass a one-year moratorium on those closures saving more than 100 post offices in the process.

"The amount they're saving by trying to shut down 167 rural post offices in Missouri is change in a couch. It's not the problem in their budget," McCaskill said.

She says the problem comes with the postal service having to prefund healthcare costs for 75 years.

The Senate recently passed a bill to reform and strengthen the postal service but it's met an obstacle.

"Like the Farm Bill, it's sitting in the House of Representatives where they haven't even brought it up for a vote," McCaskill said.

When it comes to a vote for senate, McCaskill says she believes one thing is in the way of her victory.

"I think, frankly, in some parts of the state, its hurts to have a "D" behind my name. So, this is one that if we could just run on our record...Congressman Akin and I have a big contrast. I think most Missourians that live outside the big cities would like my side of the equation than his," McCaskill said.

McCaskill says she hopes this week's campaign for rural post offices will force congressmen to vote on the reform bill and save rural post offices.

Meanwhile, Republican Congressman Todd Akin, of Missouri, is pressing forward with his U.S. Senate campaign while reaffirming his opposition to abortion.

This comes a week after causing a political uproar with remarks about rape and pregnancy.

Akin spoke to radio stations in St. Louis and Kansas City Monday as he prepares to resume campaigning in his quest to unseat McCaskill. Akin was asked again about his statement that women's bodies can avoid pregnancies in cases of what he called "legitimate rape." He said his original remarks were wrong.

He also said he's against abortion in cases of rape because he doesn't believe in fixing one tragedy with another tragedy.


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