Tester, Baucus: plan to close Kalispell mail processing facility is unacceptable

Senators urge house to act on Postal Reform Bill as USPS finalizes plans to consolidate Kalispell mail processing facility

(Washington, DC) – Montana’s U.S. Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus called on the House of Representatives to move forward with Postal Reform again today as the U.S. Postal Service finalized its plans to consolidate the Kalispell mail processing facility with Missoula. The Senate passed a sweeping Postal reform bill in April that would allow the Postal Service to decrease labor costs, streamline its processing operations, and generate new revenues, all while placing strong protections for rural areas. Yet the House of Representatives has yet to bring the bill up for a vote.

“The Senate passed a commonsense plan to get the Postal Service back on track in April, and it’s absolutely unacceptable that we are still waiting for action five months later while jobs are on the line. Targeting rural jobs is not the right way to put the Postal Service back in the black, and I will continue fighting to protect the jobs of postal workers in Kalispell and all across Montana,” Baucus said.

“Montanans may lose their jobs because of a failure of leadership by the House of Representatives. We have waited and waited for them to act and now the consequences of their inaction are coming home to Kalispell. That’s unacceptable,” Tester said.

The Postmaster General has stated that in order to become financially stable, the Postal Service must reduce spending by about $20 billion in the coming years. The Senate bill puts the Postal Service well on the path toward stability by reducing spending by $19 billion by 2016, according to analysis provided by the Postal Service. Without comprehensive postal reform, the Postal Service is likely to run out of money in calendar year 2013.

The Senate passed its postal reform bill by a margin of 62-37, with 13 Republicans voting in favor of the bill.

The Postal Service completed its study of the Kalispell Customer Service Mail Processing Center today and finalized plans to consolidate the Kalispell facility into Missoula in 2013. Baucus will continue working to find a solution to protect the jobs of workers at the Kalispell facility.