ALBANY, Ga. — Georgia 2nd Congressional District Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Albany, has penned a letter to the head of the U.S. Postal Service urging the agency to reconsider what he calls the premature closure of mail processing centers around the country.
In his letter, which was signed by 46 other members of Congress, Bishop asked USPS Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe to maintain operations at processing facilities like the one in Albany until next spring as the organization had originally planned.
“We write to urge you to maintain operations at all mail processing facilities as originally reported to allow Congress to take action on postal reform legislation. We believe it would be imprudent of the United States Postal Service to close or eliminate processing of mail, at any facility, ahead of schedule as installations were committed to remain intact until spring 2014,” the letter states.
“We understand that the USPS cannot sustain itself under its current system, and we agree it is up to Congress to act. However, management’s unilateral decision to advance the closing of mail processing centers around the nation would severely limit Congress’ ability to take action.
“In addition, we urge you to recognize the disastrous impact that the elimination of overnight delivery standards and closings of area mail processing centers and other facilities across the country would have on local and national unemployment. The USPS is a major employer around the country and employs over 500,000 workers. With an unacceptably high unemployment rate, it would be particularly inopportune for the USPS to close facilities.”
Under the USPS consolidation plan, all mail that was previously processed by the Albany facility will instead be processed in Tallahassee.
Even with the plan to consolidate postal facilities, the USPS reported a loss of $1.9 billion for the second quarter of the year.
“To return the postal service to solvency requires a comprehensive approach, which is reflected in our updated Five-Year Business Plan,” Donahoe said. “The plan provides an achievable road map to restore financial stability and preserve affordable mail service for the American public. The major elements of the plan must be pursued and executed within a short window of opportunity to avoid unsustainable losses and potentially becoming a long-term burden to the American taxpayer.”
According to the USPS website, the postal service has already reached its debt limit of $15 billion and has a total unmet obligation of more than $50 billion.
“These obligations of nearly $50 billion and continuing losses highlight the need for immediate legislative reform to give us the latitude to execute on our Five-Year Plan and improve our ability to repay these obligations and return to profitability,” said Chief Financial Officer Joe Corbett.