(U.S. SENATE)-Senator Jon Tester today met incoming Postmaster General Megan Brennan for the first time to discuss strengthening the Postal Service and the need to improve delivery standards in rural states like Montana.
Tester emphasized the Postal Service’s delivery standards have become a disaster for USPS and for the Montana families that rely on the Postal Service to deliver medication, election ballots and ultimately, to stay connected. He also voiced the need to reform funding of the Postal Service’s employees’ retiree health benefits to maximize returns and limit the waste of current funds.
“I live in the sticks and I’m telling you the Postal Service is critically important for rural America. Folks around the country rely on the mail every day for essential deliveries,” Tester said. “I was pleased to meet Ms. Brennan and I look forward to continuing our dialogue to restore mail delivery standards in rural America.”
Tester highlighted that closing processing plants and cutting service standards will greatly impact the speed of delivery around the country. Since 2011, 141 mail processing facilities have been closed, including six in Montana. Eighty-two more facilities are expected to close by September of this year – a plan that Tester calls “short-sighted.”
Tester is a member of the Senate’s Governmental Affairs Committee that oversees the Postal Service. He has been critical of the previous Postmaster General for taking steps to privatize the agency and opposed the committee’s postal reform bill because it did not preserve strong enough mail delivery standards in rural America or adequately support postal workers.
This week Tester sent a letter to Brennan calling on the USPS to ensure accuracy, as well as its accountability to others, when tracking how long it takes for mail to get from place to place.