Mr. SIRES. Madam Speaker, I rise today to express my deep concern about the closure of post offices across this country.
For decades, the post office has sustained and created American jobs in every corner of this country. Closing these vital institutions will not only hurt our economy, but it will devastate American families who rely on these jobs.
The closing of thousands of post offices will adversely affect minorities who live in low-income neighborhoods; it will affect the elderly, who need post offices within walking distance in order to send letters to their families; and it will affect small business owners who use the U.S. Postal Service as a way to conduct business. Additionally, rural communities, the hardest hit by the economic downturn, will see the greatest number of closures, causing their communities to further suffer.
It has been reported that if 10,000 of the smallest post offices were closed the postal service would only save 1 percent of its total yearly budget. Furthermore, the United States Postal Service branch closings would mean that approximately 5,000 postal employees would lose their jobs.
If we are serious about economic recovery, we must save post offices, which provide jobs to thousands of Americans; and we must make the necessary reforms to strengthen our postal service.