West Virginia Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) react to USPS announcement of post office closings
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Jay Rockefeller today released the following statement after the U.S. Postal Service announced it is studying the possibility of closing 150 post offices in West Virginia as part of a cost-cutting initiative.
“I am concerned about the impact these potential closings will have on post office customers, especially in rural communities. I want to be absolutely certain that rural states haven’t been unfairly targeted. If that’s the case, I’ll be pressing post office officials to look more closely at their criteria to make sure the process is fair. For example, West Virginia stands to lose more post offices than California. That’s a red flag for me. Rural communities must continue to have access to postal services.”
“Finally, I encourage concerned West Virginians in areas that have been identified for closure to call the Appalachian District of the Postal Service to share their concerns and have their voices heard. The Postal Service needs to know directly how these possible closings are going to impact West Virginians.”
Manchin Statement About USPS Plans to Potentially Close 150 Post Offices in West Va.
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) today issued the following statement about the U.S. Postal Service’s plans to study 150 post offices in West Virginia for potential closure as part of an effort to close a $20 billion budget gap.
“While I understand that families and businesses are facing tough financial choices in a difficult economic climate, I urge the Post Office to make every effort to maintain services to the people who need them most,” Senator Manchin said. “I grew up in the small town of Farmington – with just several hundred people – and I speak from experience when I say that rural post offices serve as a critical lifeline to communities. As an elected representative, I receive dozens – sometimes hundreds – of letters a day from my constituents, many of whom can only reach me by writing a letter. While I understand that tough choices are necessary in this difficult budget climate, I urge the Post Office to make every effort to maintain their services.
“With respect to this terrible announcement, the Post Office needs to explain why it seems that West Virginia faces a disproportionate burden of these closings when compared with other states, as well as how the post office will continue to serve rural communities. I plan to reach out to the Postmaster General and ask him to explain this decision and what steps can be taken to minimize the negative effects this action will have on our families.”
In April, officials from the United States Postal Service attended regional open meetings in West Virginia communities whose post offices are facing potential closure, and representatives from Senator Manchin’s staff were on hand to help facilitate these community workshops. There, local residents had the opportunity to communicate creative proposals that might help preserve postal service.
Senator Manchin has previously joined his colleagues in the West Virginia Congressional delegation to call on the Postmaster to explain why a disproportionate number of area mail processing studies are occurring in West Virginia.