Legislation to end postal facility closures reintroduced in House


Daily Journal Lifestyle: Representatives Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), David McKinley (R- WV), Jose Serrano (D-NY), Evan Jenkins (R-WV), and Gwen Moore (D-WI) have reintroduced the Stop Postal Closures Act (H.R. 6282), bipartisan legislation to end the closure and consolidations of mail processing facilities across the country.  (The bill was introduced during the previous session of Congress as H.R. 4656.)

In 2012, the U.S. Postal Service began closing or consolidating mail processing plants across the country, including two facilities in Eureka and Petaluma. Mail processing plants are the central sorting hubs, and their elimination can mean that mail has to travel farther before delivery.

Facility closures have been associated with delays in mail delivery, missed overnight mail deadlines, and reduced frequency of deliveries. These closures are particularly taxing on seniors, veterans and rural communities who depend on timely deliveries for prescriptions and other services. While the USPS temporarily has halted these closures, they could begin again at any time….

Specifically, the legislation would:

  • Put a moratorium on current closures and consolidations;
  • Establish a framework that any future closures must be approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission;
  • Create a list of criteria and data that USPS must analyze including impact on small businesses, vote by mail voters, and unique geographic situations;
  • Require a robust public notification and comment period so stakeholders’ views are a part of the PRC’s review;
  • Reinstate the July 1, 2012 mail delivery standards of the 1-3 day delivery, which was eliminated at the start of 2015 by USPS; and
  • Empower the PRC to set annual performance benchmarks.

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(Photo: Congressman Huffman)