Senators looking to delay post office closingsMinnesota Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar are urging Senate leaders to delay closing or consolidating post offices for six months to give Congress more time to come up with its own reforms.
By: Forum Communications Co. Report, The Jamestown Sun
Minnesota Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar are urging Senate leaders to delay closing or consolidating post offices for six months to give Congress more time to come up with its own reforms.
In a recent letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the senators said both chambers of Congress are moving forward with reform legislation to address the financial struggles of the U.S. Postal Service.
They said they were “concerned” that the Postal Service could pre-empt Congress if it follows through with a plan announced last week that would close 252 mail processing centers, shut down nearly 3,700 mostly rural post offices and eliminate overnight delivery for first class mail.
“While we may have very different views on how to financially improve the postal service, we all believe that democratically elected members of the Senate and the House have the responsibility to make significant changes to the postal service,” they wrote.
The letter, which was signed by a total of 18 Senate Democrats, also was sent to Senate Appropriations Chair Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, and Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran, R-Miss.
Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., did not sign the letter. The Grand Forks Herald could not reach Conrad for comment Monday afternoon.
“While some of these changes may be needed, we believe that it is very important to give Congress the opportunity to reform the postal service in a way that protects universal service while ensuring its financial viability for decades to come,” they wrote.
The Postal Service posted a $5.1 billion loss during the 2011 fiscal year, which ended in September. The agency’s plan as announced last week would cut result in a $20 billion cut to operating costs by 2015 and reduce the postal service workforce by more than 100,000.
It also would close 252 of the 487 mail processing centers, including ones in Grand Forks, Devils Lake and Minot and Duluth and Bemidji, Minn.
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