Aug. 19, 2014—Last week, half of the Senate sent a letter urging Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL), Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Chairman Tom Udall (D-NM) and FSGG Ranking Member Mike Johanns (R-NE) to embrace a one-year moratorium on the closure and consolidation of any additional mail processing facilities and to maintain July 2012 service standards.
The letter comes on the heels of the announcement by the postmaster general that the USPS plans to close or consolidate 82 more mail processing facilities around the country (see the list here) shedding an additional 15,000 jobs in 2015. The closures will eliminate First Class overnight delivery in areas serviced by these facilities and slow mail processing throughout the nation.
NALC is backing an effort to generate support for the moratorium in the House, which is being led by Reps. Dave Joyce (R-OH), Ron Kind (D-WI), Pete King (R-NY), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Michael Grimm (R-NY), Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Matt Cartwright (D-PA). The House letter, which is identical to the Senate letter, is also directed to House Appropriators including Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY), Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY), FSGG Subcommittee Chairman Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) and FSGG Ranking Member Jose Serrano (D-NY).
“This ill-conceived idea will do nothing but disrupt residential and business customers from receiving timely deliveries — ultimately leading to more late deliveries and driving away business,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “Instead of embracing bad idea after bad idea in an attempt to ‘save the Postal Service,’ the PMG should look at new and innovative ways to serve the public and businesses through expanded partnerships and work toward the elimination of the pre-funding mandate that continues to cripple the Postal Service. Until this realization is made, we will continue to see more of the same from the PMG and we will work against these needless service cuts.”
When Congress returns on Sept. 9, it has little time to complete legislative business before its expected adjournment for the elections by month’s end. Therefore, Congress is expected to take up a comprehensive omnibus spending package for FY 2015 instead of individual appropriations measures, which could enshrine the moratorium in law.
With a clear recognition of the contentious plan, the USPS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is now soliciting for opinions on whether the closure and consolidation plan is a good one. Click here to offer your opinion.