Apr 18 2012
Manchin introduces amendment to Postal Service bill to prevent shutdown of all 3,700 postal facilities on potential closure list, encourages better cost-savings measures
Potential closure list includes 150 locations in West Virginia
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is fighting to ensure that the 3,700 postal facilities – including 150 in West Virginia – being considered for closure would remain open for at least two years while the Postal Service considers better cost-savings measures.
Senator Manchin introduced an amendment today to the postal reform bill that would allow these facilities to remain open for business and keep the employees who work there on the job. On Tuesday, Senator Manchin voted against the motion to proceed to the underlying bill because it does not guarantee that the 3,700 post offices will be able to continue serving their communities.
“I have always said that we as a people and a country need to pick our priorities based on our values, and in West Virginia, the Postal Service is one of the things our people truly care about. I have heard from hundreds of constituents expressing the very same concern: they want their post offices to stay open. Private companies won’t step in if the government leaves, and that will simply disconnect our rural communities from the rest of this great nation. In our rural towns the Postal Service is about much more than a place to send and receive mail. Our postal facilities are the centerpieces of our communities – they are places where people gather and share important information. And they are a symbol of the importance of our small towns to the people whose families have always been there – they are our little place on the map.”
Senator Manchin is encouraging the Postal Service to consider several other cost-saving measures before cutting into the core of its mission. Some of his preferred cost-saving ideas include: eliminating excessive bonuses for Postal Service executives, making sure that the products offered by the Postal Service cover their costs, getting rid of retail space that the Postal Service is not using, and ending the expenditure of Postal Service advertising dollars on luxuries such as sponsoring the U.S. Tour de France team and a NASCAR team.
“Under the Postal Service’s proposal, they would close thousands of rural post offices to save $200 million, but that’s less than 1 percent of the Postal Service’s $20 billion and is roughly equivalent to the amount we spend in one day in Afghanistan. While that does very little to improve the Postal Service’s bottom line, it would devastate our rural towns, including potentially 150 communities in West Virginia. I have offered this amendment because, as I have heard from hundreds of my constituents, we simply cannot afford to let these facilities close in the communities that need them the most.”
- The Senate is currently debating the Lieberman-Collins substitute amendment (#2000) to the Postal Reform Bill (S. 1789).