BREAKING: Tester Successfully Pushes Postal Service to Stand Down on Missoula Processing Center Consolidation

In response to the Senator’s bipartisan letter, USPS Postmaster DeJoy will delay plans to consolidate Missoula’s Processing and Distribution Center

After U.S. Senator Jon Tester repeatedly called on the United States Postal Service to halt plans to move Missoula’s Processing and Distribution Center’s (P&DC) outgoing processing operations to Spokane, Postmaster Louis DeJoy announced today that he would pause all processing center consolidation plans.

Postmaster DeJoy’s announcement was directly in response to a bipartisan letter led by Tester voicing concerns about the planned consolidation.

“Montanans sent me to the Senate to defend rural America and make sure our state doesn’t get left behind, and that’s exactly why I told Postmaster DeJoy that plans to move Missoula’s outgoing mail processing out-of-state were a complete nonstarter,” said Tester. “I’m proud to have put a stop to this consolidation plan that would have left Montanans with less reliable mail service and jeopardized the delivery of everything from hard-earned paychecks to life-saving medications. I’ll continue to push for a permanent fix like my PARCEL Act to make sure USPS won’t be able to ever strip rural America of reliable service without public approval and legitimate justification.”

Tester has been Montana’s leading champion holding the USPS accountable. In his bipartisan letter to the USPS Board of Governors last week, Tester called for the USPS to halt the United States Postal Service’s Mail Processing Facility Review and restore service in areas where changes were implemented – including Missoula – until a comprehensive Advisory Opinion from the Postal Regulatory Commission studying the potential impacts of these changes is completed. 

In response to the USPS finalizing the decision to relocate Missoula’s P&DC outgoing processing operations to Spokane, Washington, Senator Tester introduced his Protecting Access to Rural Carriers for Every Location (PARCEL) Act – legislation to prohibit unnecessary and harmful consolidation of mail processing operations nationwide.

In February, Tester urged Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to halt the United States Postal Service’s Mail Processing Facility Review that could result in the relocation of Missoula’s P&DC outgoing mail processing operations to Spokane, Washington. In March, following an initial decision to make the move permanent, and after hearing from countless veterans frustrated with USPS’s untimely delivery of prescription medications, Tester called on the USPS Board of Governors to work towards improved postal service in Montana.

In December, Tester pressed the Biden Administration to address staffing challenges and fill upcoming openings in USPS leadership with people who have experience with postal matters in rural areas. In June, following months of discussions with Big Sky Post Office stakeholders and USPS, Tester secured a $229,000 per year increase in funding for the Big Sky Post Office to support continued services in the face of the area’s rapid population growth.