FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 24, 2012
SCHUMER PUSHES LEGISLATION IN MAJOR POSTAL REFORM BILL TO PRESERVE NY’S RURAL POST OFFICES & DOOR-TO-DOOR MAIL DELIVERY SERVICE
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that he is introducing legislation to preserve door-to-door mail delivery service for the U.S. Postal Service, as well as his support for legislation that would put a two year moratorium on rural post office closings. Schumer is pushing for these provisions to be part of S. 1789, the 21stCentury Postal Service Act which is currently being debated by the Senate to reform the Postal Service and identify cost savings to keep the Service strong for years to come. Originally, the bill would have allowed the USPS to install new group boxes, like those in apartment complexes, for an entire neighborhood or street with residential homes. Rather than having mail delivered to their mailbox or door, homeowners could have been forced to travel further from their home simply to pick up the mail. Schumer’s amendment aims to preserve the same door delivery service customers currently receive. The second amendment Schumer supports, introduced by Senators Claire McCaskill (MO) and Jeff Merkley (OR), would prohibit the U.S. Postal Service from closing rural post offices for two years. Over 50 rural offices in New York State were slated for closure under the original plan proposed by the Postmaster General.
“Hundreds of thousands of Upstate seniors and businesses rely on rural post offices and door-to-door delivery in every corner of the state,” said Schumer. “We need to make major reforms to the postal service to protect the vital service it provides, but saving the post office while shutting down key post offices and moving delivery further from people’s homes makes no sense at all. This legislation would put a two-year moratorium on closures, and ensure that the Post Office keeps delivering mail right to the mailbox or doorstep. We need to save where we can, but cutting out incredibly important post offices defeats the point when it comes to saving the postal service. These are commonsense proposals that recognizes that the USPS needs reform, but balances that need with the importance of our rural post offices and convenient delivery.”
As originally written, the postal reform bill would have pushed the USPS to stop delivering mail to individual doors and mailboxes and instead install apartment complex-style group boxes, where all of the mail for a given street or neighborhood would be delivered to boxes that were grouped together in one place, further from individual homes. Citing the hardship this would place on senior citizens and others, Schumer introduced an amendment to the bill that would prohibit the USPS from installing these boxes and dramatically altering the way mail is delivered. For new developments where group mail centers make sense, the USPS would be allowed to install these boxes in the future. But Schumer’s amendment aims to preserve the door delivery service that residents have relied on for decades.
Schumer also today announced his support for a two year moratorium on rural post office closings. The New York post offices that were slated for closure, but would remain open for two years during which further study could be conducted, appear below:
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