Senators from 17 states want Postal Service to pause 10-year plan to save $160B

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A bipartisan group of 26 U.S. senators from 17 states are urging leaders of the U.S. Postal Service to delay execution of its strategic plan.

“We call on you to pause planned changes to the U.S. Postal Service’s processing and delivery network under the ‘Delivering for America’ plan, until you request and receive a comprehensive Advisory Opinion from the Postal Regulatory Commission to fully study the potential impacts of these changes,” according to a letter signed by the Senators and addressed to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and the Board of Governors.

Democratic Nevada Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen signed the letter and highlighted ongoing demands to change the plan, made along with U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev. They highlighted planned changes to a facility in Reno, which will be downsized from a regional hub to a local center and its regional operations moved to Sacramento, Calif.

“We call on USPS to pause all changes, pending a full study of this plan by its regulator,” the letter stated. “While USPS claims these changes overall will improve service while reducing costs, there is evidence to the contrary in locations where USPS has implemented changes so far. USPS must stop implementation, restore service in those areas where changes were implemented, and fully understand the nationwide effects of its plan on service and communities.”

“Delivering For America,” a 60-page, 10-year plan published by USPS, states the organization is optimizing mail and packaging processing capabilities as it lost $87 billion during the last 14 years.

“The Plan’s strategic initiatives are designed to reverse a projected $160 billion in losses over the next ten years by achieving break-even operating performance,” according to the publication.

Changes in how people use the Postal Service resulted in costly inefficiencies, according to the plan.

“Our processing network was originally designed to meet the demands of a robust, and ever-growing mail market,” the plan stated. “Similarly, our facilities were located geographically and set up operationally to facilitate the timely and efficient processing of mail. As mail volume has decreased, our machines and facilities have been left under-utilized, leaving us with a physical network infrastructure that does not correspond to the current and projected needs of our customers.”

In addition to the senators from Nevada, senators from Arizona, Colorado, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming also signed the letter. It highlighted problems associated with moving mail processing away from local communities and reductions in transporting mail, leaving mail sitting overnight in local offices.

“We are concerned about the impacts these changes have had so far, and the potential impacts that further changes could have,” the senators wrote. “In regions where USPS has implemented significant changes, on-time mail delivery has declined. In addition, it is not clear these changes will improve efficiency or costs. Despite these concerns, USPS has moved forward with announcing and approving additional facility changes across the country.”