Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt Line Up Against Post Office Closures
Congressional lawmakers hope to put up legislative barriers to postal closings while the agency seeks ways to compete in the digital age.
This week, lawmakers from across the country have introduced measures to prevent the shuttering of various United States Postal Service offices. Last summer, the agency announced it would evaluate the operations at more than 3,000 offices nationwide, including a handful in St. Louis County and the city of St. Louis.
Maplewood-Brentwood Patch recently reported that any decision on closures under the current round of "rightsizing" would not come until next month at the earliest.
But both of Missouri's U.S. senators have introduced measures to prevent post office closings. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) introduced a plan that would place a moratorium on closing rural post offices for two years. After that, the Postal Service would have to follow a strict criterion when considering whether to close a facility.
“Targeting rural post offices for closure is callous, unnecessary, and irresponsible and doesn't solve the fiscal problems facing the Postal Service,” McCaskill said in a statement. “Our post offices are more than just brick and mortar—they’re the lifeblood for towns across our state and a source of good jobs in areas hard-hit by the economic downturn. And I’m proud to lead this fight on behalf of Missouri’s families and businesses.”
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) co-sponsored an amendment with Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) that would “allow for the appointment of a non-paid advocate to represent rural communities facing a post office or postal processing facility closure or consolidation."
“As the U.S. Postal Service continues to face serious fiscal problems, we need to consider all possible options before closing post offices and processing centers. And rural communities and small towns in Missouri and across the country that rely on the Postal Service every day deserve to have their voices heard throughout the process,” Blunt said in a statement. “I’m proud to work with Senator Bennet on a bipartisan amendment to the postal reform bill that will provide communities facing postal closures with a citizens’ advocate to represent their interests.”
Roll Call noted that a number of lawmakers are making moves to protect particular post offices from being shut down.