Dems seek to stop planned USPS cutbacks

Dec. 9, 2011 at 10:36 AM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- A number of Democrats say they plan to fight U.S. Postal Service plans to shutter facilities and cut jobs to address its multibillion-dollar deficit.

The group said Congress should have a say when a government agency's actions could lead to more than 100,000 jobs lost when unemployment is 8.6 percent, The Hill reported.

The postal service announced this week it planned to close 252 mail processing centers and cut tens of thousands of jobs. The postal service reported losing $5.1 billion during the fiscal year that ended in September.

Eighteen Senate Democrats sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev/, and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., asking for Congress to postpone the postal service's action. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, and Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., the committee's ranking Republican, also received the letter.

"While we may have very different views on how to financially improve the postal service, we all believe that democratically elected members of the Senate and the House have the responsibility to make significant changes to the postal service," the letter read.

The group asked congressional leaders to include language in appropriations legislation that would prevent USPS from consolidating area mail processing centers and rural post offices for the next six months, The Hill said. They also expressed concern the service may pre-empt congressional action by closing nearly 3,700 post offices and eliminating overnight delivery for first-class mail before Congress can consider postal reform.

Lawmakers noted several postal reform bills have been introduced in the Senate and House.

USPS officials said they plan to reduce operating costs by $20 billion by 2015 and reduce its workforce by more than 100,000.

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