Udall Amendment to Protect Rural Post Offices Passes with Postal Reform
Udall Calls on House to Pass the Bill and Send to President
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With the Senate passage of postal reform (S.1789) today, Mark Udall called on his House colleagues to pass the bill and protect rural post offices that anchor their communities, save thousands of jobs, and ensure the long-term financial viability of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). Udall co-sponsored and helped to successfully attach an amendment to the underlying bill that protects rural post offices from closure for at least another year while the USPS looks into other cost-saving measures. It cuts the number of post offices that could be considered for closure in Colorado from the 71 originally under study; about 25 rural post offices could be saved under the Udall amendment. Those post offices are listed below.
The bill passed by a vote of 62-37, and now heads to the House, where it will need to be passed and signed by the President before the May 15 moratorium expires.
"I fought hard to get the bill passed and successfully helped get an amendment included that will protect rural post offices from closure for at least one year while the Postal Service looks into other cost-saving measures and sources of much-needed revenue," Udall said. "While I understand the need to make the USPS leaner in the 21st century, it shouldn't come on the backs of rural Coloradans. Post offices, especially rural ones, anchor their communities by helping residents fulfill their mailing needs, seniors get prescription medication and entrepreneurs run their businesses. This bill isn't perfect, but it's a crucial move toward making the USPS more competitive and protecting the services people depend on while we get it onto a stronger financial path. I hope my House colleagues will pass the bill as is, and quickly, before the moratorium on closures expires."
Udall's amendment defines "rural" according to the Census Bureau's definition of areas with 2,500 or fewer residents - which means that Udall's amendment would protect almost half of the post offices in Colorado that are still under study for closure or consolidation.**
He also fought to include improvements to the underlying reform bill, outlined in a letter with his colleagues from earlier this year. Udall advocated for several other provisions to improve the USPS's functions, such as allowing the USPS to sell new products and services, like hunting and fishing licenses, and to ship beer, wine and liquor to bring in additional sources of revenue. Other provisions include:
- keeping overnight delivery standards for regional areas for at least three years
- protecting Saturday delivery for two years
- saving the USPS around billions of dollars per year by reducing obligations to pay into retiree health care benefits
- creating a commission tasked with developing innovative ways to make the USPS profitable in the 21st century and beyond
Thousands of jobs were at stake under the USPS proposal to close or consolidate nearly 3,700 mostly rural post offices and over 250 mail processing facilities. In Colorado, 71 post offices, mostly in rural areas, were originally considered for closure.
**Here is a PRELIMINARY AND UNOFFICIAL LIST of Colorado post offices that could be saved by the amendment IF the postal reform bill is passed in the House and signed by the President before the current moratorium on post office closures expires on May 15 AND contingent upon an official review by U.S. Postal Service. As far as other post offices that could be considered for closure, please note that there is still a lot of unknown information and the list below is unofficial.
UNOFFICIAL LIST OF RURAL COLORADO POST OFFICES
1. AGATE, 80101
2. ARRIBA, 80804
3. BONCARBO, 81024
4. BURNS, 80426
5. CARR, 80612
6. CHROMO, 81128
7. ECKLEY, 80727
8. EGNAR, 81325
9. HAMILTON, 81638
10. HARTMAN, 81043
11. HASWELL, 81045
12. MARVEL, 81329
13. MEREDITH, 81642
14. MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK, 81330
15. MOLINA, 81646
16. OPHIR, 81426
17. PARLIN, 81239
18. POWDERHORN, 81243
19. STONEHAM, 80754
20. TRINCHERA, 81081
21. TWO BUTTES, 81084
22. VILAS, 81087
23. WARD, 80481
24. WILD HORSE, 80862
25. WOODROW, 80757