Tester hosts roundtable on postal delivery in rural America
Senator criticizes Postal Service decisions that erode service in Montana
(U.S. Senate) - Senator Jon Tester today hosted a Senate roundtable to meet with stakeholders about the Postal Service's impact in rural America.
During the roundtable, Tester criticized recent moves by the Postal Service that degraded delivery standards in Montana and called for Congress to move forward on common-sense reforms that will ensure quality, reliable postal service for rural America.
Tester, a member of the Senate committee that oversees the Postal Service, specifically focused on changes made to eliminate overnight delivery for first-class mail and the closure or consolidation of dozens of processing facilities nationwide. Montana had nine processing plants before 2011, and today the state has three.
"By reducing services, making product deliveries less timely, and increasing the burdens on customers, it's difficult to see a good path forward for the Postal Service," Tester said. "But Congress can ensure that the Postal Service becomes financially solvent by making a few basic policy changes so the USPS can remain an important part of rural communities into the future."
Tester supports changing the requirement for the Postal Service to prefund its retiree health benefits, something no other federal agency or private employer has to do. If the prefunding mandate was not in place, it would save the USPS billions every year.
Tester was joined by Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Tom Carper (D-Del.). Their roundtable included representatives from the National Newspaper Association, the Postal Regulatory Commission, the National Association of Postmasters and the National Rural Letter Carriers.
Tester has long advocated for comprehensive postal reform and recently met with new Postmaster General Megan Brennan to identify areas to improve postal delivery standards for rural and urban America.