Baldwin Among Senators Calling for Stop to Postal Service Cuts
For the City-Times
Half of the U.S. Senate today called for a one-year moratorium on U.S. Postal Service plans to close mail processing plants and slow down first-class mail delivery.
A letter signed by 50 senators said Congress should block a proposal by Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe to close up to 82 mail processing plants, slow mail services and eliminate up to 15,000 jobs. The letter urged leaders of a key Senate committee to include a one-year ban on mail delivery cuts as part of must-pass legislation to keep the government running into the new fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.
“This one-year moratorium will give Congress the time it needs to enact the comprehensive postal reforms that are necessary for the Postal Service to function effectively into the future,” the senators wrote in a letter to Sens. Barbara Mikulski (Md.) and Richard Shelby (La.), the chairwoman and ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
The letter – drafted and circulated by Sens. Bernie Sanders (Vt.), Jon Tester (Mont.) and Tammy Baldwin (Wis.) – also was sent to Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), leaders of a subcommittee on Postal Service finances.
“At a time when our middle class is disappearing, the loss of 15,000 good-paying Postal Service jobs will harm our local communities and economies,” the senators wrote. “Slowing down mail delivery even further will hurt senior citizens on fixed incomes, small businesses and the entire economy,” the letter added.
Despite misleading reports about supposed fiscal woes, the Postal Service in fact has taken in nearly $1 billion more in revenue than it spent since the fall of 2012. The rising revenues are partly due to an increase in package deliveries for online retailers. That growth has more than made up for fewer letters being mailed because of email and online bill paying.
In addition to Sanders, Tester and Baldwin, the letter was signed by Senate leaders Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and by Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.); John Hoeven (R-N.D.); Mary Landrieu (D-La.); John Walsh (D-Mont.); Al Franken (D-Minn.); Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.); Debbie Stabenow (D- Mich.); Tim Johnson (D-N.D.); Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.); Christopher Murphy (D-Conn.); Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.); Ron Wyden (D-Ore.); Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.); Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.); Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio); Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.); Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.); Kay Hagan (D-N.C.); Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.); Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii); Tom Harkin (D-Iowa); John Thune (R-S.D.); Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.); Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.); Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.); Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.); Mark Udall (D-Colo.); Jack Reed (D-R.I.); Susan Collins (R-Maine); Carl Levin (D-Mich.); Robert Casey (D-Pa.); Angus King (I-Maine); Sheldon Whitehouse (R-R.I.); James Inhofe (R-Okla.); Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.); Ben Cardin (D-Md.); Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii); Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.); Corey Booker (D-N.J.); Michael Bennet (D-Colo.); Robert Menendez (D-N.J.); Orrin Hatch (R-Utah); Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.); Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.).
To read the letter, click here.