Senator John Walsh today cosponsored the Postal Service Protection Act to modernize the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to protect six-day delivery, overnight delivery standards, and protect rural post offices.
Walsh's support for the Postal Service comes at a time when the U.S. House of Representatives is seeking to gut postal services to rural America as a way to pay for highways.
"In rural states like Montana, preserving postal services is essential to our livelihoods and well-being," Walsh said. "Our businesses rely on deliveries to stay competitive in today's economy, and seniors receive life-saving medicines through the mail. We must take responsible steps now to ensure these services continue without interruption, that our rural mail offices remain open, and that we protect the jobs of hard-working Montanans. I will continue to fight any misguided attempts to fund a different part of the federal government at the cost of Montana's mail delivery."
"I would like to thank Senator Walsh for cosponsoring S. 316 to seek meaningful postal reform," said David Vaughn, President, Montana Rural Letter Carriers Association. "Currently, the postal bills before Congress attempt to dismantle the Postal Service by cutting delivery and service standards, and interfering with collective bargaining rights. If this harmful legislation passes, rural areas and small businesses all over Montana would be devastated. S. 316 would make the Postal Service viable for future generations by keeping the 6-day mail delivery, universal service mandate."
The Postal Service Protection Act will strengthen USPS by removing the prefunding mandate of future retirement health benefits, something that no other federal agency is required to do. The bill will result in savings of $5 billion each year.
By removing the mandate, the bill will allow for the re-establishment of overnight delivery of first-class mail, keep mail processing centers openand establish permanent six-day delivery of mail.
Under Walsh's bill, USPS will be able to explore new, innovative ways to raise revenue. The bill also includes a tough criteria before USPS can close a post office or processing facility. Closures that would adversely affect a community or postal employees would have to be approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission after a 90-day public comment period, protecting rural post offices like those across Montana from being targeted for closure.
Montana Senator Jon Tester, a longtime advocate for protecting rural mail delivery, is also a sponsor of the legislation.