Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus are taking action to put the U.S. Postal Service on sound financial footing while preserving timely and efficient mail service in rural America.
Tester and Baucus are backing comprehensive legislation that will repeal the requirement that the Postal Service prepay employees retirement benefits, establish new ways for the Postal Service to make money, and keep rural post offices open.
The Postal Service's prefunding requirement - shared by no other agency or company in the United States - is responsible for about 80 percent of the Postal Service's financial losses since 2007.
"This bill gives the Postal Service the tools it needs to right-the-ship without cutting service in rural America," said Tester, Montana's only member of the Senate committee that oversees the Postal Service. "Folks in rural America rely on timely and efficient mail delivery and they shouldn't bear the burden of balancing the Postal Service's books. The Postal Service is part of our Constitution and we need to make sure it can keep serving our families and communities throughout Montana."
"In Montana, post offices aren't just a place to send and receive mail - they are a lifeline to rural communities. We know the Postal Service has serious budget problems, but we also know that closing down rural Post Offices won't even come close to solving them, so this bill takes a commonsense approach to put the Postal service back on the road to financial stability while also protecting Montana jobs and service standards," said Baucus, who brought Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe to Montana for community listening sessions last Spring.
The Senators' bill permanently requires six-day mail delivery, re-establishes overnight delivery standards, and allows the Postal Service to generate new revenue by providing services such as shipping beer and wine.
Tester previously helped block plans to close the Missoula mail processing center and numerous post offices in rural Montana in order to preserve efficient rural mail service.