Maryland Senator Puts Hold on Postal Legislation in Objection to Flawed USPS Consolidation Plan

Senator Reaffirms Support for USPS Reform; USPS Continued Push to Rush Disastrously Flawed Closure Plan ‘Flies in the Face’ of Senate Reform Bill

March 22, 2012

WASHINGTONU.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) announced today that she has placed a hold on Senate consideration of postal legislation as a result of the United States Postal Office’s (USPS) lack of public input or transparency in the possible closure of the Easton Mail Processing Center. In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senator Mikulski expressed that “while I absolutely agree that the USPS must be reformed to meet the country’s needs in the 21st Century, I must object to moving forward on consideration of this legislation while the USPS continues a rushed study to close a needed mail processing center on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.”

Last week, Senators Mikulski and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) sent a strongly worded letter to Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe expressing their outrage over the “total disregard for a transparent and public process for consideration of the closure and consolidation of the Easton mail processing center to the Hares Corner mail processing center in Wilmington, Delaware.” In the letter to the Postmaster General, the Senators demanded an open “public process.”

The complete text of Senator Mikulski’s letter is below:

March 20, 2012

The Honorable Harry Reid
Majority Leader
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Reid, I write to notify you that I am putting a hold on S. 1789, the Postal Reform bill, dated March 20, 2012. I will submit a copy of this notice to the Legislative Clerk and the Congressional Record within 2 session days and I give my permission to the objecting Senator to object in my name

While I absolutely agree that the United States Postal Service (USPS) must be reformed to meet the country’s needs in the 21st Century, I must object to moving forward on consideration of this legislation while the USPS continues a rushed study to close a needed mail processing center on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Making matters worse, USPS plans no public hearings and no opportunity for written comment in this study process.  This is totally unacceptable.

The half a million residents who live on the Eastern Shore and rely on the mail service must have a voice in this process.  These residents include farmers, small businesses and a significant rural and elderly population that relies heavily on mail delivery for life saving medications, daily newspapers, and important business documents.

The Easton area mail processing center is the only mail processing center on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and its ongoing operation is critically important to the economy of the shore.   Relaxing delivery standards by moving mail processing from Easton to Delaware is simply not a practical or sustainable option.

My constituents have a right to be heard, they have a right to maintain the standard of delivery service that they currently receive, and they deserve a fair and transparent process for decisions about the Easton area mail processing center.

I’m grateful for your leadership, and I look forward to working with you to ensure that the Postal Service remains financially solvent and ready for the 21st Century. But I must object to consideration of S. 1789 while this issue remains outstanding and I grant permission for you (or your designee) to object in my name.


Barbara A. Mikulski
United States Senator

26 thoughts on “Maryland Senator Puts Hold on Postal Legislation in Objection to Flawed USPS Consolidation Plan

  1. Here’s the major problems in bulet format.
    * corruption is rampent within the white house, congress, USPS, and yes, the APWU.
    * The white house is using the USPS for a slush fund, the APWU is shitting on the country by supporting a socialist president, congress wants our prepaid retirement money, so the only time they want to help is to save offices in their own areas.
    * The APWU is also making backroom deals to help clerks and screw the heavier population of veterans in Maintenance.Even their arbitrators are settling recent cases, and bypassing older maintenance cases. Thats Brotherhood?
    * Congress neds to stay OUT of postal business. Most of us where I work want to know NOW if we will have a job or not! STOP delaying!!! We want to move on with our lives. Again, this time in Maryland, another DumbASS congress-person is worried about her re-election and trying to show that she cares. B.S.!!!
    * Heres a fairer way to “Downsize”. since most of this was brought on by Obama, Lets just Downsize by getting rid of the postal employees who were the Stupid Fuckers who voted for him! That would be FAIR!!!

  2. Hey Raul & Joe Wanats
    Take your crap somewhere else. We all know the union does not support this bill. You’re blowing this crap out your rear. Get a clue & then get a life.

  3. This just goes to prove that our political representatives do nothing unless it means votes or money for themselves. This S 1789 has been kicked around since last year, now a local senator is making noise because her district, but most important, her votes may be affected in a negative manner. This bill is being pushed because the PMG and congress are having a pissing match. Basically the PMG is saying “Shit or get off the pot”. Now that PO closures are a reality the importance of the USPS is being brought to light. But more important the congress knows that the USPS is a cash cow when it is profitable. Congress has taken postal profit in the past and used it in the general tax fund, they want to be able to do this again in the future. No matter what is said about the USPS it is one of the most inexpensive and efficient ways to send mail in the world.
    If the PO ever gets privatized the rates will sky rocket and if you don,t live in an urban area you will have a far way to go to get your mail.

  4. I like for a senator to address what the true cause of USPS downfall. Over paid CEO of a department of the government, over retirement payments of both civil service and federal employees, high energy “gas” prices, and congress from the past borrowing from the USPS and not paying the monies back. Keep USPS competitions out USPS business and let us serve the people!

  5. Give the senator a chance. She’s doing her best with the group she works with. I applaud her and appreciate her letter. It’s going to be very interesting as more senators speak up about the matter of their constituents facing the possibility of losing mail service. I think Donahoe may have his feet held to the fire afterall.

  6. An amended version of a postal bill (S. 1789) is tentatively scheduled for a vote during the week of March 26, and could be brought to the Senate floor as early as Monday, APWU Legislative and Political Director Myke Reid is reporting.

    The APWU is asking union members to be vigilante and to check the APWU Web site frequently for updates. “The situation could change very rapidly, so it is important that union members remain alert,” Reid said. “We may need to respond to an announcement quickly.”

    The APWU was sharply critical of the original bill, and supports the now amended S.1789, to set strict service standards; allow the USPS to recover overpayments the Postal Service made to its retiree pension funds; adequately address the requirement that forces the USPS to pre-fund future retiree health benefits, and offer APWU members lucrative Early Retirement Incentives, to alleviate the excessing and reassignments our members are suffering through.

    John H. Dirzius APWU
    Cliff Guffey APWU

  7. Another politican that has no concern for debt, wasted cost, or an understanding of basic economics of supply and demand. Postal services exceed demand resulting in negative results as illustrated in quarter one 3.1 billion dollar loss. Restructing a must from Pistol Pat Donahooe gang of 38 to small community post offices that no longer have any justification of need as demographics has changed areas.

  8. S. 1789 could come up Monday: An amended version of S. 1789 – which the NALC has seen – appears headed for consideration on the floor of the Senate as early as Monday. Based on what little we know right now, the expectation is that the amendments go far enough toward addressing the major issues we have with this deeply enhanced legislation. The NALC is prepared to mobilize members to support any measure that includes Early Retirement Incentives for all craft employees.

    Fred Rolando- NALC

  9. This should be the outrage that every post office being closed should express. The letter speaks volumes for all facilities.

  10. Just the usual grandstanding, make a big noise, collect some votes, then after the elections in November push everything to the back burner again.

  11. So how is this going to stop the consolidations? You would think that since the GOP has been trying to take these steps towards privitizations, the Dems would make a real attempt to put a stop to Donahoe’s plans. For years Postal Headquarters has bent over backwards to give big business big price breaks. Now there is not enough 1st class mail to subsidize bulk mail, and savings are to come from the pockets of the postal workers. Nice going Congress!

  12. Keep fighting Senators! America need the postal mail service and hundreds of thousands of jobs tthat it employs! We already have enough unemployed americans! Texas congressmen and senattorrs need to get on board! Thousands of Texas citizeens jobs and mail service is on the line! Fire Donahoe first! He clearly does not care anything about the postal ervice or workers livlihood!

  13. Here it comes. Now that the closures are hitting home states of certain members of the Senate and Congress they are starting to speak up. This problem reared its ugly head in 2009. Our elected officials always wait until the final hour to try a duct tape and hose clamp fix. Get your asses in gear and solve the problem. More studies and bickering are not the answer.

  14. I am a proud 30 year worker for the
    u s postal service as letter carrier and the past 23 years as an electronic technician,… and a proud vietnam vet. People have got to be educated as the u s postal service does not use tax dollars. We could never get rid of the u s postal service ,trillions of dollars directly and indirectly rely on it. I have an exposure to upper management even the vice president of Human Resources , there’s no doubt in my mind that this company needs to be cleaned up and we are a very wasteful company. Lets give them a Vera, get rid of the deadwood and make a THE new managers accountable for their actions . Yes we definitely need a u s postal service but A cleaned UP US postal service s

  15. Dear senator: you call this plan by the PO a “rushed” plan (your words). They are not “rushed” plans. They are plans needed to be made because congress has done NOTHING for years to resolve the problems you all created and the PMG has begged you to address. The plants closing are congress’ fault, not the PO

  16. My dear Senator Mikulski:

    I hope you read this thread because I want to tell you from the viewpoint of a 27+ year postal employee that delaying legislation is not the right way to handle your protest. I admire your sticking it to the PMG, who is hell bent on eventual destruction of the Service if he’s left unchecked to carry out his moronic plans, but the reform legislation that you’re suggesting is not what the postal management wants, anyway. They want an emasculated labor force with much weaker unions and want to shut down, as you suggest, plants nationwide, and S. 1789 won’t let them do that. So by delaying the legislation and vote you are only giving them more ammo to continue down their suicidal road.
    If you are sincere about saving the Postal Service, and protecting the employees as much as possible, and I don’t question your sincerity, I urge you to move ahead with legislation as quickly as possible. Any delays will only hurt us more.

  17. S.1789 is not that bad if amended, if all depend on Congress, and they amend it, forget it, when did they do anything good, just Trillions to the greedy banks and failed companies, let the PMG offer incentives/ VERA now, he has no choice, Congress will pass something and it will not be legislation, Trillions for some, but for workers, cut the pensions, Paul Ryan is the Marie Antoinette of today, Obama is the Nero of today, yack yack, and no substance, the price of gas is up because this administration wants to force the green energy issue, so force NY and other states to allow fracking ( which is done in any state drilling for gas), natural gas is the future and cheapest energy available, there are natural gas pumping stations on the PA Turnpike and across the country, invest in that, because solar will never be cheap enough to afford nor supply enough energy, and offer the VERA!, Now !

  18. s 1789 is not that great of a plan for postal employees any way. . Allows, (with negotiations of unions and management), (What a joke), withdrawl of employees form federal employee health benifit plan. I’m sure we’ll all be on sorry apwu plan, like it or not. As long as apwu keeps money flowing>

  19. Seriously though, they need to put someone in charge of the USPS that knows what they are doing. Also cut the salaries of the top executives and get rid of the Borad of Governors. They are asleep at the wheel so they serve no usefull purpose. Put a REAL oversight body in place that will actually keep close tabs on the USPS and start holding people ACOUNTABLE!!!

  20. I’m grateful for your leadership”

    Oh yes, were all just so grateful for all you in power leadership, i mean what would we all do without it?

    All you rich bastards/bitches out there pulling the strings on your puppet politicians, All you bankers and wall street greedy pricks we are all just so grateful for your leadership.

    Let us all say a special pray for you all.

    Dear satan may they all rot in hell!

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