U.S. Senator Tom Udall has announced his co-sponsorship of a bill to help preserve the U.S. Postal Service. The Postal Service Protection Act would help protect rural communities from post office closures in addition to addressing the financial issues USPS is facing. Udall signed onto the bill after hearing from constituents in rural communities across New Mexico who expressed their concerns about the process and the devastating effect closures would have on communities and businesses.
“USPS is in a tough financial spot today. Changes need to be made as the postal service adjusts to a digital world,” Udall said on the call. “This is an opportunity to strengthen the postal service, rather than cut services to rural communities and slash nearly 100,000 jobs. The bill would put in place commonsense fixes that address both the long and short-term needs of the postal services.”
The Postal Service Protection Act would:
- Allow the postal service to recover the overpayments it made to its retirement programs;
- Allow the postal service to seek out new revenue sources by ending the prohibition on non-postal services, such as notary services and shipping beer and wine;
- Create a blue-ribbon commission composed of entrepreneurs, representatives of labor and small businesses to provide recommendations on how the postal service can generate new revenue to succeed in the 21st century;
- Give the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) binding authority to prevent closures based on the effect on a community or employees;
In July, the USPS announced the potential closure of more than 50 post offices in New Mexico. Udall and Senator Jeff Bingaman raised concerns about the proposed closures in a meeting with the Postmaster General and in a follow-up letter.
Also on the radio call, Udall discussed a continuing resolution that would keep the government funded through the middle of December and his push for full funding of nuclear waste cleanup as part of an Energy and Water Appropriations bill. In addition, he responded to questions on recommendations from the Super Committee tasked with balancing the budget, which are expected to be released at the end of the week. Click here to download the full audio of the press call.