WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined 29 colleagues in a letter to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe urging the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to delay consolidation of up to 82 mail processing facilities nationally. Ohio currently has four facilities slated to be consolidated, including the Youngstown Processing and Distribution Facility (P&DF). Without the delay requested by Sen. Brown, the USPS will begin consolidation in January 2015.
“The postal service fulfills an important function in everyday life. Homebound seniors rely on USPS for delivering prescription drugs, small businesses ship products to customers around the country, rural communities stay connected through the mail, and families across the country rely on mail to manage their households,” Brown said. “That’s why it’s vital that the USPS take adequate steps to review these consolidations and their effects on American consumers.”
The letter to Donahoe follows a report by the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General that found the USPS failed to fulfill its obligations to study the impact of consolidation and properly notify local customers of these changes. Without completion of these studies, local communities and customers are unable to fully anticipate the effects closures or consolidations may have in their community.
In August 2014, Brown, along with 49 other senators, sent a letter to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations and the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, urging them to prevent the planned closing and consolidation of several USPS mail processing facilities across the country. In their letter, the senators asked the Committee and Subcommittee to prevent all closings and consolidations in Fiscal Year 2015 through omnibus appropriations legislation or a continuing resolution, giving Congress time to pass comprehensive postal reform legislation to fund the Postal Service’s operations.
In 2012, Brown successfully fought to maintain jobs and preserve mail delivery in Ohio. Provisions of the Postal Service Protection Act, cosponsored by Brown, passed the Senate as part of a broader postal reform bill. Brown’s efforts delayed closure of Ohio’s Mail & Processing Distribution Centers (P&DC) and rural post offices for two years.