Government affairs

Legislative Updates

Bipartisan bill to halt facility closures and consolidations introduced in House

This week, Reps. Jared Huffman (D-CA), David McKinley (D-WV), José Serrano (D-NY) and Evan Jenkins (R-WV) introduced the Stop Postal Closures Act (H.R. 4656) to halt any closure and consolidation of mail processing facilities around the country until the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) certifies that the U.S. Postal Service has met certain national service standards.

While Postmaster General Megan Brennan temporarily suspended additional closures last year, USPS is set to resume the closure or consolidation of 87 facilities this year. H.R. 4656 aims to reinstate the service standards that were in place as of July 2012, to place a moratorium on current closures and consolidations and to establish a system of PRC approval regarding future closings. The bill calls for data-based criteria and analysis of the impact on communities of closings and consolidations, allows for a public notification and comment period before decisions are made, and enables the PRC to set benchmarks with regard to performance

“We all want a modern, efficient Postal Service, but continuing to reduce service standards and close facilities is not the way to deliver for the American people,” Huffman said. “It is time to hold USPS accountable for its business actions and how they affect our constituents and their needs.”

“Rural residents, in particular, depend on the United States Postal Service to pay bills on time and stay connected,” Jenkins said. “The consolidation of mail processing facilities threatens to limit their mail service even more.”

“For too long, the Postal Service has closed facilities without adequate notice, input, or understanding of the impact that closure has on taxpayers,” said Serrano, ranking member of the Committee on Appropriations’ Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government (FSGG). “This bipartisan legislation will ensure that the USPS fully understands the impact their decisions have on local communities; strengthens the notification process so citizens can have their voices heard; and restores national service standards to improve delivery for all Americans.”

While NALC is not endorsing postal-related measures at this time, we commend the efforts of lawmakers to address service issues and will continue to work with the Postal Service and Congress on this critical subject.

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