Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) and other senators have asked Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe to extend the moratorium on the closing of post office and mail processing facilities until Congress approves reform legislation. The current moratorium ends May 15, 2012.
â€œFor those in rural communities in Virginia and throughout our nation, a post office is critical to economic development and the quality of life,â€ said Senator Webb. â€œI signed this letter because I want to assure that no additional offices are closed until the Congress completes action on postal reform.â€
In late April, the Senate passed a postal service reform bill, the 21st Century Postal Service Act (S.1789), which included language to delay closing any post offices or postal facilities until the reforms go into effect. The U.S. House of Representatives has not yet acted on this bill.
â€œPreserving and maintaining a viable Postal Service and its ability to continue to serve the entire nation is an indispensable element for the entire postal industry, its workers, and most importantly the many small businesses and communities around the country who depend on a strong and reliable USPS,â€ the senators wrote. â€œWe are deeply concerned that the closing of these postal facilities prior to postal reform legislation being enacted would be devastating to communities around the country. This moratorium will provide the time needed to enact the reforms in the 21st Century Postal Service Act.â€
Senator Webb supported numerous amendments to S.1789 aimed at protecting rural post offices.