Sen. Harkin Secures Postal Service Provision in Appropriations Bill

Financial Services Appropriations bill directs USPS not to proceed with consolidations until it meets GAO’s recommended criteria for making these decisions

(Press Release) Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today announced that he has successfully included a provision in the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations bill that would prevent the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) from consolidating mail processing facilities in Sioux City until USPS satisfies the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) recommended criteria for making these decisions.  This GAO report was requested by Senator Harkin in response to USPS plans to close the Sioux City Postal Center. The FSGG spending bill must be approved by the full Senate and the House of Representatives before becoming law.
“Consolidation of the Sioux City mail processing facility should not proceed until the USPS implements a fair, accurate and transparent method for making these decisions,” Harkin said. “USPS must be forthcoming with communities targeted for consolidation about how their postal service will be affected and what costs it will impose on the community.” 
Sioux City’s mail processing facilities and others across the country are being reviewed by the Postal Service for consolidation.  The soon to be released GAO study concluded that consolidation decisions are not based on consistent information from site to site, that site-specific data is not used, and that the actual delivery impacts of consolidation are not measured.
As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Harkin has expressed strong concerns about the way the Postal Service is proceeding with the consolidation of mail facilities nationwide.  While the provision Harkin secured today preventing USPS consolidation until the GAO report is implemented is not binding law, it is a recommendation from the Appropriations Committee.  Such recommendations are normally followed by federal agencies such as the Postal Service.