[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement after the U.S. Senate passed comprehensive legislation to reform the postal service by a vote of 62 to 37. Durbin also offered an amendment - that was accepted into the bill - which protects facilities the Postal Service recently concluded to be efficient by requiring a new audit before the Postal Service can move forward with plans to close or consolidate that facility.
“Over the last year, the Postmaster General has produced many desperate scenarios including the closure of nine Illinois processing facilities and more than 250 post offices. Today the Senate produced a bipartisan plan that will steer the Postal Service away from the worst scenario and help it adapt to current economic realities.
“Our bipartisan plan is far from perfect, but it will protect Illinois postal jobs and is far better than the Postmaster General’s alternative. The bill will help the Postal Service reduce long-term costs, increase efficiency and grow into a 21st century service provider.
“The Senate has done its part, now it’s time for the House of Representatives to act and pass legislation before the moratorium expires on May 15th. In the meantime, I will do everything I can to prevent good-paying Illinois jobs from leaving our state.”
On December 13, 2011, Durbin joined with 14 other Senators to announce that at their request, the Postal Service voluntarily agreed to put in place a five-month moratorium on closing postal facilities. Their announcement followed a meeting between several Senators, Postmaster General Donahoe and the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors Chairman Thurgood Marshall, Jr., in which Senators expressed concern over the impact of reduced service and the loss of thousands of jobs. During the moratorium, scheduled to end on May 15, 2012, the Postal Service will continue to study the impact of proposed closures on service and costs and to solicit community input.
On September 15, 2011, the U.S. Postal Service announced plans to review its mail processing network in the hopes of reducing costs. When the moratorium expires, the Postal Service is planning to move forward with the elimination of overnight delivery and the closure of as many as 3,700 mostly rural post offices and over 200 mail processing facilities, including at least 8 in Illinois, five of which – Springfield, Quincy, Carbondale, Centralia and Rockford – are being considered for consolidation with out-of-state facilities. All of the Illinois facilities are owned by the Postal Service and employ a total of approximately 1,600 people.