11/12/2014 – Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD) and Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) are the latest in a long list of members of Congress calling for a moratorium on reductions in postal service standards and the closure of mail processing plants. The congressmen urged leaders of the House Appropriators Committee to include language in a 2015 funding bill that would prevent the Postal Service from proceeding with cutbacks that are scheduled to take place beginning on Jan. 5, 2015.
“Critical questions about the impact of these proposed consolidations and service delivery changes remain unanswered,” Cummings and Lynch wrote in a letter dated Nov. 12. “For example, it is unclear how the proposed consolidations and service delivery changes would impact the Postal Service workforce, rural areas, small businesses, or senior citizens.“
A report by the #USPS Office of Inspector General found that the Postal Service failed to conduct impact studies for the proposed consolidations and failed to inform stakeholders about anticipated service changes. Both steps are required by the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act before the Postal Service can enact the proposed service changes.
A report by the Postal Regulatory Commission also found that savings from the proposed cutbacks would be lower than Postal Service projections.
Service standards were reduced in July 2012, and more than 140 mail processing facilities were consolidated the following.
In August, 50 senators sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee calling for a one-year moratorium. The following month, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) added his high-profile support. Also in September, a bipartisan group of 160 House members made a similar request to House appropriators.
“Support for our cause is growing,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “There is bipartisan support in Congress for a moratorium on cuts in service standards and mail processing facility closures. But the USPS Board of Governors can stop the cuts without an act of Congress. That’s what we will be demanding at 150 protests across the country on Nov. 14,” he said.
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