WASHINGTON – Today, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) released the following statement reacting to the Postmaster General’s announcement that the Postal Service will accelerate the consolidation of 53 mail processing facilities:
“Given the U.S. Postal Service’s dire financial situation, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Postmaster General is moving forward to implement additional cost-cutting measures with the limited tools at his disposal. It is painful any time the possibility emerges that a community could lose a postal facility — be it a post office or a distribution center — and I know that the impacted communities are grappling with the ramifications of the Postal Service’s proposals. I intend to closely review this plan and work with the Postal Service to ensure that the consolidation process is fair and transparent to employees and customers.
“Despite this difficult news, it’s hard to condemn the Postmaster General for moving to do what he believes he can and must do to keep the lights on at the Postal Service, which may be only months away from insolvency. The financial challenges that have been building at the Postal Service for years – attributable in large part to a reduced demand for hard-copy mail – are eminently solvable, yet Congress and the Administration have failed at every turn to come to consensus around a set of effective reforms. The hard truth is that these piecemeal efforts undertaken by the Postal Service are likely not enough on their own to fundamentally fix the Postal Service’s serious financial problems. Only comprehensive reform of the Postal Service that takes into account its long-term needs can address the severe financial problems that continue to plague this American institution, and that reform can only come from Congress working with the Administration. At the end of last year, I participated in bipartisan, bicameral negotiations that I hoped would lead to significant financial and operational reforms at the Postal Service. Unfortunately, we ran out of time and were unable to produce a legislative compromise that we could present to our colleagues before the 112th Congress adjourned. Now that the 113th Congress is underway, I have been working with my colleagues in the Senate and the House to identify and come to consensus on a set of reforms so we enact a meaningful bill as soon as possible – and provide the Postal Service with the tools and resources it needs to reform itself so that it can survive and thrive in the 21st century.”