APWU Web News Articles

Senate Majority Leader Makes 51

More than Half of Senate Now Backs Call to Stop Consolidations

Web News Article #: 

09/06/2014 - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has added his high-profile support to calls for a one-year moratorium on USPS plans to close 82 mail processing plants and slow mail delivery.

Reid has joined 50 other senators who signed a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee calling for a ban on USPS cuts to be included in must-pass legislation to keep the government running into the new fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

Reid’s signature means a bipartisan majority of senators have signed the letter. As majority leader, Reid’s support improves the likelihood the ban will be addressed.

Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Jon Tester (D-MT) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) organized the effort to block the cuts proposed by Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe.

But Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), who chairs the Senate Committee with oversight of the USPS, has declared his opposition to the plan now backed by Reid. Postal management is also determined to press ahead with the consolidations.

“APWU members have worked hard to help win support from a majority of senators for the plan to stop the plant closures,” said President Mark Dimondstein.  “In the coming weeks, we must shore up support in the Senate. We also must win support for a similar letter that is now circulating in the House.”

Announcing Majority Leader Reid’s support, Sanders said, “Despite misleading reports about the Postal Service’s supposed money woes, revenue outpaced expenses by almost $1 billion since the fall of 2012,” Sen. Sanders said. “On paper, the Postal Service ‘deficit’ is a result of an unprecedented requirement that it pre-fund 75 years of future retiree health benefits over a 10-year period into a fund that already has more than enough money to cover retirees’ health care needs.

“Let's be clear,” Sanders said. “The Postal Service is not going broke. Instead of slashing decent-paying jobs and slowing down mail, the Postal Service must be allowed to sell more products and offer more services that the American people need. We must also end the Bush-era mandate to pre-fund 75 years of future retiree health benefits. This mandate is responsible for all of the ‘losses’ at the Postal Service for the past two years.”