WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill outlined key postal service priorities—including access to post offices in rural communities and actions to address mail delays—in outreach to President Trump’s newly established Postal Task Force. McCaskill serves as the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate committee that is responsible for oversight of the United States Postal Service (USPS).
In a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who will serve as the chair of the task force, McCaskill emphasized the important role USPS plays in communities, stating, “In Missouri, many people receive life-supporting medicines through the mail, and small businesses depend on the Postal Service to ship their products to customers. The Postal service is particularly important to Missouri’s rural communities, where the closest pharmacies could be miles away, express shippers rely on the Postal Service for last mile delivery, and internet connectivity can be slow or nonexistent.”
In her letter, McCaskill called on the Postal Task Force to prioritize:
- Rural post office access and the damaging effects that closing post offices can have on rural communities in particular.
- Continuing Saturday service and considering delivery seven days a week, which could help the Postal Service keep costs low and prices affordable.
- Ensuring reliable, timely mail delivery. For far too many Missourians, delayed mail means missing doses of medication or losing business contracts due to late delivery.
- How the Postal Service can maximize profits on its ‘last mile’ delivery contracts.
- Stability in affordable postal pricing.
McCaskill also called for the Postal Task Force to create ways for the public to make their voices heard as it considers critical postal reform issues. “As the Task Force moves forward, it is critical that key stakeholders are meaningfully engaged in the process—this is a complex issue affecting hundreds of companies, thousands of employees, and hundreds of millions of customers,” McCaskill wrote. “Any reform effort must carefully balance the needs of postal employees, mass mailers, and customers, particularly those in rural America.”
As a leader of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Postal Service, McCaskill has long worked to improve postal service and hold the agency accountable. McCaskill is fighting to fix a bizarre quirk in which some Missouri residents have Iowa and Arkansas mailing addresses, causing unnecessary problems for the affected Missourians. McCaskill called for postal reforms after a Postal Service Inspector General report found that mismanagement led to up to two billion pieces of delayed mail.
She has also called for answers from the Postmaster General following reports from Missouri USPS managers that their staffing needs have been disregarded. McCaskill has also joined a bipartisan group of Senators to introduce a comprehensive postal reform bill that will put the Postal Service on firm financial footing, improve performance in rural communities, and allow for the development of new products and services. McCaskill is widely credited with having waged a successful campaign over several years to save rural post offices in Missouri and maintain delivery standards.
Read McCaskill’s letter to Secretary Mnuchin HERE.