Congressman Adrian Smith applauds the United States Postal Service’s reversal on plans to close around 100 post offices in rural Nebraska.
In an effort to stem a flow of red ink, the USPS had proposed closing about 13,000 post offices across the country, 111 in Nebraska; most small, rural post offices.
Smith says that if the Postal Service wants to stem its flow of red ink, it must tackle personnel issues, since the Postal Service workforce makes up 80% of its budget.
“So, you can close all of the post offices that the Postal Service is talking about and really achieve no savings, in terms of meaningful savings,” Smith tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Smith has proposed an amendment for the House to consider that would limit rural post office closings to 5% of the total post office closings. Smith says the proposal to close thousands of rural post offices never made fiscal sense.
“Because if you closed the 10,000 smallest post offices in the nation, if you closed all of them today, you would save 7/10th of 1% of the budget,” according to Smith.
The United States Postmaster General complained that a bill approved in the Senate restricted his ability to deal with $8.5 million in losses each year.
Smith says he understands that the Postmaster General doesn’t need Congress micro-managing its operations.
“I don’t want to see the Postal Service backed into a corner to where they lost market share and become even less competitive as a result,” Smith says.
The Postal Service is attempting to cope with a drastic drop in business. According to the USPS, mail volume has dropped off by 43 billion pieces, a 20% decline, as consumers switch to email and pay more and more of their bills electronically.
AUDIO: Brent Martin interviews Congressman Adrian Smith on Postal Service reversal [4:40]