WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) have joined 25 other senators in calling for significant improvements in a bill to modernize the U.S. Postal Service.
In a letter to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs and Subcommittee on Federal financial Management, Government Information and International Security, the senators suggested specific measures to preserve first-class and Saturday mail delivery, stop wholesale closings of rural post offices and mail processing centers, and spare many of the 220,000 jobs that the Postal Service wants to cut.
“The Postal Service is the fabric of our neighborhoods and rural communities,” Mikulski said. “Every day our postal workers are working hard for America – binding the nation together through communication. I will continue to fight on behalf of postal worker jobs by working with my colleagues to make sure we have a solution that leaves the Postal Service in a stable financial condition without harming its employees or its customers.”
“The delivery of the mail is a fundamental government service, and I am committed to ensuring that postal reform maintains the jobs and facilities that are needed to carry out the postal services’ mission of timely, efficient delivery of the mail,” said Cardin. “I will not support reform efforts that will result in an erosion of services and a decline in the trust that the American people have in the U.S. Postal Service.”
The senators wrote that the Postal Service should be prohibited from slowing down first-class mail delivery, which would result if Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe carries out a plan to shutter 252 mail processing centers.
“If USPS becomes inconvenient and slow, many of its most loyal customers – from home delivery medication companies to newspaper publishers – will turn to private mailing options,” the letter said.
Under a key proposal, the senators called for a Blue-Ribbon Entrepreneurial Commission to develop a new business model for the Postal Service.