May 09, 2012

Manchin Statement on Postal Service Announcement

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin today issued the following statement about the U.S. Postal Service announcement that all 3,700 rural post offices slated for closure will remain open, with some reducing retail hours. 

“For months now, I have been fighting to keep our rural post offices open so that the people of our state can stay connected to this great country. I pushed very hard in the Senate to keep all our post offices open, because they truly are a lifeline and they provide vital services to so many West Virginians. With 150 post offices slated for closure in our state alone, the effect would have been devastating to thousands of West Virginians. 

“I spoke with the Postmaster General last night, and I’m encouraged that he changed course and took a new approach to save money in his agency. However, this compromise isn’t perfect. I expect that if the Postal Service is going to make any changes to the services they are providing to constituents, they will also explore alternative cost-saving measures like reducing executive compensation, getting rid of unused space and ending advertising sponsorships. I will be watching very closely to ensure that our rural communities do not bear the brunt of changes being made at the Postal Service.” 


  • Senator Manchin offered an amendment to the postal reform bill that would have required the Postal Service to keep all post offices and mail processing facilities open for two years. 

  • Before today’s announcement, the USPS had imposed a voluntary moratorium on post office closures until May 15, 2012.  Today’s announcement would keep open the 3,700 post offices – and 150 in West Virginia – that could have been closed as early as next week.

  • The compromise will be phased in over a two-year period as the USPS considers alternative methods of providing rural postal services, such as contracting with local businesses to create a village post office and using rural carriers.

  • Closing 3,700 post offices that would have only saved $200 million. This new proposal ensure that nearly 13,000 post offices will stay open, and saves an even greater $500 million by reducing the hours at retail locations to match customer use.  

  • The USPS also announced a voluntary early retirement incentive plan for the more than 21,000 postmasters employed by the USPS.

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