Cumberland Times-News

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April 5, 2013

Senator backs bill in postal closures

CUMBERLAND — U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin announced Friday that he is a co-sponsor of the Postal Service Protection Act, which will address the U.S. Postal Service’s financial problems, prevent rural post office closures, protect Saturday delivery services and save American jobs.

The bill would directly protect the Clarksburg, W.Va., mail processing plant from closing.

“In West Virginia, especially in our rural areas, post offices are more than just places to send and receive mail — they are truly the lifelines of their communities and the only way a town is able to stay connected,” Manchin said.

“I have been working closely with local officials to keep the Clarksburg mailing center open and will remain in close contact with them throughout this process. In the meantime, Congress must consider the Postal Service Protection Act to help fix the Postal Service’s financial problems while saving jobs, creating revenue and making sure our small businesses, seniors, veterans, and rural residents will continue to receive the mailing services they count on.”

If passed, the Postal Service Protection Act will:

• Protect six-day delivery. This bill would require the postal service to deliver mail on Saturdays. The postal service recently announced that it will be eliminating Saturday mail delivery beginning in August. Cutting six-day delivery is not a viable plan for the future, the bill said.

• Ensure the timely delivery of mail and protect mail-processing facilities. The bill would re-establish overnight delivery standards for first-class mail, which would ensure the timely delivery of mail, keep mail processing facilities open and protect jobs.

• Protect rural post offices. This bill would give the Postal Regulatory Commission binding authority to prevent post offices from being closed based on the effect on the community and its employees. Right now, the PRC only has the authority to review a decision to close a post office, but it does not have any binding authority to prevent the closure.

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