TUCSON— Today, Reps Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03) and Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-02) led 56 Members of Congress in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy urging them to include funds in the next stimulus bill for the USPS and to prevent the closure or consolidation of any postal facility that will delay services and reduce the efficiency of USPS.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, USPS has played a critical role in delivering essential items to homes across the country and ensuring that the majority of Americans are able to practice social distancing.
“Decades of Republican-led attacks on the USPS have left it in a dire financial situation that has worsened during the pandemic,” said Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva. “As the USPS looks at ways to remain solvent, the issue of closing and consolidating area mail processing centers comes back into the fold. Closing area mail processing centers like the Cherrybell facility in Tucson under the guise of cutting costs is unfair to the residents of Tucson and the surrounding areas. Any future consolidations efforts should be off the table—especially when it results in unnecessary mail delays, job losses, and is conducted with outdated information. Congress must take swift action to save the USPS and stop any unnecessary closures as our country continues to deal with this pandemic.”
“It is crucial that every American have access to basic and affordable mail services provided by USPS. During this unprecedented time, where distance is required and travel limited, it is vital that we have a strong well-equipped postal service that delivers all over the country. We cannot allow our USPS facilities and processing centers to face financial hardships that may result in consolidation or cuts. Congress must allocate direct funding to USPS because Americans cannot afford to lose its essential service, not ever and especially not now,” said Rep. Kirkpatrick.
In their letter, the members highlighted the financial issues plaguing USPS and how the situation has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 outbreak. The lawmakers wrote,
“In order to maintain these critical operations, the USPS needs direct funding and assistance, not just the $10 billion in additional loans the CARES Act granted. We are concerned that if additional funds are not provided, USPS will move to lower service standards and close AMP facilities in an attempt to remain solvent. Such actions would have a negative effect on the efficiency with which Americans can send and receive mail and further damage the nation’s postal network. This must be avoided, since USPS is critical to our economy and infrastructure.
“Considering the essential role the USPS plays in surviving the ongoing crisis and will play in our nation’s economic recovery, we believe that if funding is directed to the USPS – which is necessary and must be included in any further COVID related legislation – the USPS should be prohibited from consolidating Phase 2 AMPs without first conducting updated area feasibility studies. Such a requirement will help USPS maintain its service standards.”
Click here to read the full letter.