WASHINGTON – Senator Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., Thursday issued the following statement in reaction to an announcement by the United States Postal Service (USPS) that it would close the Stamford mail processing facility and consolidate it with a Westchester County, N.Y, facility, and close the Wallingord mail processing center and consolidate it with the Hartford facility.

“News of the United States Postal Service’s intent to close two of Connecticut’s three mail processing plants could not come at a worse time. As the state economy struggles to create jobs, the last thing we need is the loss of hundreds of postal positions and delivery delays for customers and businesses – both of which would occur if the Wallingford and Stamford mail processing plants are shuttered as planned.

“Yes, the USPS financial outlook is deeply troubled, partly because of competition from the internet and partly because of the economic downturn. My Senate colleagues and I have been working for months to develop bipartisan legislation to return it to sound financial footing. Yet, the Postmaster General is barreling ahead to implement drastic cost cutting measures that would gravely harm jobs, mail delivery schedules, and community well being across the country as well as in Connecticut.

“Congress asked the Postal Service not to implement service changes until the Postal Regulatory Commission reviewed the changes and offered its advice.  The Postmaster General only recently filed a request for such a review. Nevertheless, he is forging ahead before the review is complete.

“I urge the PRC to complete its review promptly. And I strongly urge the Postmaster General to wait until then and take the PRC’s advice into account.  I also urge the Postmaster General to work with Congress for comprehensive postal reform that will put the Postal Service on a long-term, sound financial footing and preserve essential postal services, rather than proceed unilaterally. The Postmaster General should refrain from closing the Stamford and Wallingford plants, as well as those elsewhere in the country, until the PRC and Congress have had an opportunity to act.”