March 21, 2012

Manchin and Rockefeller Push to Keep Postal Service Facilities Open

Senators Identify Billions in Savings and New Revenue Rather Than Cuts that Harm Rural Communities and Employees

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin today encouraged the Postal Service to save billions of dollars and raise new revenue before pushing ahead with drastic cuts to post offices and other facilities in West Virginia.

In a strongly worded letter to U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, Rockefeller and Manchin asked Donohoe for details on how the Postal Service is spending its money. 

“The Postal Service plan would hurt West Virginia communities and jobs,” Rockefeller said. “We know there are other steps the Postal Service can take to save money and increase revenue.  The Postal Service needs to restructure, and I’m fighting to protect customers and employees in our state and make sure West Virginians don’t get stuck with an unfair burden.”

“I believe very strongly that the Postal Service and our post offices are part of the very foundation of this country – they are part of what built this country into what we are today,” Manchin said. “For so many of our rural communities, the local post office is so much more than a place to send and receive our mail; it’s about being connected. So before we start shutting the doors at post offices in West Virginia and across this nation, we need to work together to find efficiencies within the system and other cost-saving measures. Looking ahead, keeping our post offices open is and will be a high priority for me and for so many West Virginians because the Postal Service brings so much to our communities, and has for as long as we can remember. We’re committed to working together to keep our post offices open for business.” 

The letter, which comes in advance of possible debate in the Senate on postal reform legislation, was also signed by Senators Jon Tester, Max Baucus, Jeff Merkley, Ron Wyden and Kirsten Gillibrand. It identifies billions of dollars in potential cost-savings and opportunities to increase revenue, such as adequately pricing products that consistently lose money, leasing unused commercial space, limiting executive bonuses, and maximizing its market share in growing markets like Internet sales.  It also identifies the need to preserve timely delivery of mail, post offices, and mail processing centers, and expresses concerns about proposals from the Postal Service to withdraw its employees from the Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan (FEHBP) and void layoff protections in existing contracts. 

To read the full text of the letter, click here