Senator Manchin Asks Postmaster General For Clarification On Post Office Closures Across West Virginia

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) asked the U.S. Postmaster General DeJoy for clarification on the reported closure of post offices and reduction in hours at additional post offices across West Virginia.

The Senator said in part, “I am receiving troubling reports from West Virginians that there are numerous post office locations in my state and across the nation that are scheduled for imminent closure or significant reduction in hours and services. Yesterday, there were signs hung in some of these locations announcing their proposed closure with an effective date of August 22nd or August 24th. This would likely be a violation of both federal law and United States Postal Service (USPS) rules that prescribe a specific closure process which requires, at minimum, 120 days’ notice. In response to this letter, I request a list of all the specific changes affecting mail delivery you have directed since assuming the role of Postmaster General, including a detailed list of any and all individual post office locations that are being considered for closure. In the event that there are specific locations being considered for closure, please also provide an explanation for why and a rough timeline for when those closures might take place.”

To view Senator Manchin’s letter to Postmaster General DeJoy, please click here.

Dear Postmaster General DeJoy:

I am receiving troubling reports from West Virginians that there are numerous post office locations in my state and across the nation that are scheduled for imminent closure or significant reduction in hours and services. Yesterday, there were signs hung in some of these locations announcing their proposed closure with an effective date of August 22nd or August 24th. This would likely be a violation of both federal law and United States Postal Service (USPS) rules that prescribe a specific closure process which requires, at minimum, 120 days’ notice. In response to this letter, I request a list of all the specific changes affecting mail delivery you have directed since assuming the role of Postmaster General, including a detailed list of any and all individual post office locations that are being considered for closure. In the event that there are specific locations being considered for closure, please also provide an explanation for why and a rough timeline for when those closures might take place.

Let me be clear, I have not, do not, and will not support any measures to privatize USPS. As a public service, USPS is legally required to deliver mail, to all postal addresses in all regions, at a flat rate, no matter how far it may have to travel. The Service’s affordability and continued accessibility are essential for rural communities, especially those with high rates of poverty. In many areas where reliable broadband is not an option, the Postal Service is their only link to medicine, social security checks, and family members. Nearly 18 percent of Americans pay their bills by mail. Among adults over 40 who take medication for a chronic condition, 20 percent get those pills by mail order. Under new social distancing mandates, the Postal Service has become even more essential in keeping rural communities connected and economically viable, allowing rural consumers the ability to get groceries, medical supplies, and other essential goods delivered to their doorstep.

In March, a few months before you assumed the role of Postmaster General, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act; P.L. 116-136) which included Section 6001 expanding USPS’s authority to borrow an additional $10 billion from the Federal Financing Bank (FFB) within the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The goal of this funding, as with many provisions in the CARES Act, was to help USPS navigate the immediate, unforeseen, and unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic without gutting the essential services on which Americans have come to depend. Unfortunately, not only has little to none of that funding been utilized, you are now proposing the very cuts that we sought to avoid with that emergency line of credit.

As a former businessman, I respect and appreciate your desire to make government work more effectively and efficiently, but the USPS is not just another business. It’s a part of and a reflection of the communities all across America that it serves day after day.

The men and women of USPS provide a public service that is too critical to too many to be changed unilaterally without the input of those that will be most affected. I agree that USPS faces some difficult challenges, but they can only be fixed in an open, transparent, and bipartisan fashion.

I remain committed to supporting the ongoing operations of USPS, and I look forward to your prompt response to this letter.


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