Senator Urges Postmaster General to Honor Senate Bill’s Provision Hold off on Montana Shutdowns
(Washington, D.C.) – Montana’s senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus blasts the Postmaster General today for plans to shut down the Kalispell area mail processing facility. Baucus is specifically calling out the United States Postal Service for ignoring his provisions in Postal Reform legislation that cleared the Senate and is now awaiting action in the House. The U.S. Postal Service just its newest plan for consolidating mail processing facilities across the nation. Kalispell is on the chopping block for shutdown this summer. Prior to today’s information released to Baucus’ office, the Kalispell facility was under study for potential closure, but the decision was not final.
Baucus successfully pressed the Postal Service to back away from plans to consolidate or shut down area mail processing facilities in Missoula, Butte, Helena and Wolf Point and is vowing to continue pressure on the Postmaster General to back away from plans to shut down Kalispell’s facility.
“We stopped them from shutting down Missoula, Butte, Helena and Wolf Point mail processing facilities – and I’ll fight tooth and nail to protect Kalispell and the 20 jobs that are on the line. I brought the Postmaster General to Montana and showed him firsthand that shutting down Montana facilities is a small-minded way to address a large scale problem. I’m fighting the Postmaster’s plan to close Kalispell’s processing facility and urge the House to pass our Senate postal reform bill, because it would solve the Postal Service’s problems without unfairly targeting rural Montana,” said Baucus.
Baucus included a provision in the Senate’s Postal Reform Bill that would ensure that no postal facility could be closed prior to November 13th in a state that conducts all elections by mail or permits no-excuse absentee voting (Montana qualifies). If the House passes the Senate bill, the Postal Service couldn’t even consider closing the Kalispell facility until after November 13th. Additionally, if the House fails to pass the Senate’s Postal Reform Bill, mail processing facilities in Butte, Helena and Wolf Point are all likely to be right back on the chopping block as early as next year
The plans released to Baucus’ office include 48 consolidations this summer and an additional 140 closings between December 2012 to February 2013. Unless circumstances change for USPS in the interim, they would then enter a second and final round of closings that would encompass the remaining group of 89 centers which they wanted to originally close, beginning February 2014.