Senator Jon Tester is trying stop the U-S Postal Service from closing any post offices for at least six months. He says lawmakers need more time to address money problems within the Postal Service. In Montana, 85 post offices and several mail sorting centers are slated for possible closure. Tester says they are critical to Montana.

Earlier this week – Tester called out the Postal Service for moving forward on closing mail sorting centers……even though the public comment period doesn’t end until next week.

Tester’s letter appears below.

Dear Majority Leader Reid, Minority Leader McConnell, Chairman Inouye, and Ranking Member Cochran:

Everyone understands that the United States Postal Service (USPS) is experiencing significant financial problems today and that changes need to be made as the USPS adjusts to a digital world.

To address this serious problem, Congress is in the midst of significantly reforming the postal service. Several bills have been introduced in the Senate and the House on this issue. On November 9th, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee passed the 21st Century Postal Service Act, S.1789, by a vote of 9-1. The House is also moving forward with postal reform legislation.

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.

Unfortunately, we are concerned that the postal service may preempt Congress on this matter by closing or consolidating nearly 3,700 mostly rural post offices, over 250 mail processing facilities, and eliminating overnight delivery for first class mail before postal reform legislation is enacted. While some of these changes may be needed, we believe that it is very important to give Congress the opportunity to reform the postal service in a way that protects universal service while ensuring its financial viability for decades to come.

Therefore, we respectfully ask that you include language in the next appropriations to prevent the USPS from closing or consolidating area mail processing facilities or rural post offices for the next six months. This six month moratorium will give Congress the time needed to enact reforms necessary for the postal service to succeed in the 21st century.

We look forward to working with you on this important issue. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Jon Tester