Postal Service seeks drastic cuts

250 facilities could be closed to save costs

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe (left) appears Sept. 6, 2011, on Capitol Hill before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee as the panel examines the economic troubles of the Postal Service, a self-funded federal agency in decline because of the Internet and advertising losses. (Associated Press)Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe (left) appears Sept. 6, 2011, on Capitol Hill before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee as the panel examines the economic troubles of the Postal Service, a self-funded federal agency in decline because of the Internet and advertising losses. (Associated Press)
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“We do not support this proposal and intend to stand with the residents, businesses and employees negatively impacted to fight it,” he said.

Also within hours of the announcement, Sen. Thomas R. Carper, Delaware Democrat, issued a statement that was less critical, in which he said he was “deeply saddened” to learn that a processing facility in Delaware was on the list of potential closures.

“I will be following the review process closely to ensure that it is transparent and fair to employees and customers … ,” he said.

Still, Mr. Carper said the announcement by the Postal Service was part of an ongoing effort to streamline operations to reflect reduced demand for services.

“The hard truth is that, if nothing is done, the Postal Service is going to lose $10 billion this year. Congress and the administration must act quickly to help the Postal Service save itself,” he said.

Asked about potential politicking by members of Congress who might fight hard to keep facilities in their states open, Mr. Donahoe said the closure process would be fair and transparent. He vowed there would be “no favorites.”

Under the plans, the Postal Service also plans to reduce the service standard for first-class mail from one to three days delivery to two to three days, meaning customers on average would not receive mail the day after it was sent, officials said.

There are four processing facilities each in Maryland and Virginia being targeted for potential closure, including centers in Gaithersburg and Waldorf and two in Norfolk. There were no facilities in Washington on the list of potential closures.

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