Tester Slams USPS Postmaster Over Proposed Relocation of Missoula Facility to Spokane

Senator: “Immediately halt any proposal to move Missoula operations to Spokane and refocus efforts on improving delivery standard in rural America”

As a part of his continued efforts to improve mail delivery in Montana, U.S. Senator Jon Tester recently 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 Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) to Spokane, Washington.

“The Missoula P&DC is a critical part of postal operations in Montana,” wrote Tester in a letter to Postmaster General DeJoy. “The center employs over a hundred Montanans and has served the community for decades. If processing were to be moved out of state, mail would get sent from Missoula more than 200 miles over two mountain passes to Spokane to be sorted before any of it is sent back to be delivered.”

In his letter, Tester cited the precarious drive over Lookout Pass on the border of Montana and Idaho, which is often closed to bad whether as a concern for potential future delivery delays.

Tester continued: “I fail to see how this transfer would result in improved postal service for Montanans. Our state’s small businesses rely on the mail system to send products to their customers and many folks rely on timely USPS service to send checks and mortgage payments to the bank. Mail delivery also effects our seniors in rural areas who rely on the postal service to deliver their life-saving medications and veterans who depend on the postal service to deliver their prescriptions and hard-earned federal benefits.”

“I urge you to halt any proposal to move Missoula operations to Spokane and refocus efforts on improving delivery standards in rural America,” concluded Tester.

Tester has been Montana’s leading champion holding the USPS accountable. In December, Tester pressed the Biden Administration to address staffing challenges and fill upcoming openings in United States Postal Service (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.

In April of 2022, his Postal Service Reform Act was signed into law, which ensures long-term, reliable mail service and put the USPS on sound financial footing. He has repeatedly pushed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on USPS policy changes that have delayed mail, threatened to undermine the agency, and harmed rural America. In 2020, Tester blew the whistle on USPS for removing dozens of mail collection boxes from towns across Montana, leading USPS to pause its removal of collection boxes nationwide until after the November election. Since the beginning of the pandemic, thousands of Montanans have contacted Tester to express concerns about mail delays and their effects on Montana communities.

Read Tester’s full letter to DeJoy HERE.