Senate panel approves Tester study of rural mail service changes

Senator’s measure will hold Postal Service accountable for delivery standards

(BIG SANDY, Mont.) – Senator Jon Tester this week won approval for his measure to require the government to determine how reductions in rural mail delivery standards are affecting Montana communities.

The Postal Service last year cut certain delivery programs in rural states like Montana, claiming the change would save the agency money and not hurt delivery service standards. But there have been no studies to back up the Postal Service’s claims – or to determine how communities in rural America are affected by the change.

Tester’s measure will require the government’s top watchdog to get to the bottom of the issue. Tester sits on the Senate’s Appropriations Committee, which approved his amendment unanimously.

“Folks in rural American rely on timely and efficient postal service for everything from medicines to election ballots,” Tester said. “This measure will take a close look at how cuts to rural mail service are affecting Montanans and make it clear that the Postal Service is trying to balance its books on the backs of rural communities.”

Tester, a member of the Senate panel that oversees the Postal Service, supports comprehensive, bipartisan legislation that will put the Postal Service on sound financial footing while preserving timely and efficient mail service in rural Montana.

Fellow Montana Senator Max Baucus is also a supporter of that measure.

Tester also recently criticized the Postal Service’s attempt to break the law and cut Saturday mail delivery, before helping to force the agency to backtrack on its decision.

Tester’s measure requiring a study of reductions to rural mail service standards is now part of a Senate funding bill.