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Apr-25-2012 21:15printcomments

Senate Passes Merkley Amendment to Save Oregon's Rural Post Offices

The amendment was passed by voice vote.

Rural Oregon post office
Courtesy: news.opb.org

(WASHINGTON DC) - The U.S. Senate approved Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley’s amendment to prohibit the closure of rural post offices where such closure would have a substantial impact on small businesses, seniors’ access to medication, and the economic strength of the community. Moreover, it bars the closing of any post office if the next nearest post office is more than 10 road miles away. The measure, cosponsored by Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and offered as part of the 21st Century Postal Service Act, would also put in a place a one year moratorium on most rural postal closings.

“This is a victory for our small businesses, seniors, and all rural Oregonians,” Merkley said. “They depend on their local post office to get their goods to market and pick up medication, and I am grateful that Oregonians can continue to count on these crucial services. Our rural post offices are too important to close. They are the heart of our local communities.”

Merkley had previously offered legislation to prohibit closing post offices more than 10 miles from another post office. This successful amendment expands on that by establishing additional conditions that must be met before the United States Postal Service can close a rural post office:

  • Postal customers must continue to receive substantially similar access to essential services, such as prescription medication and time-sensitive communications that are sent through the mail;
  • Businesses in the community must not suffer substantial economic loss, and the economic loss to the community resulting from the closure must not exceed the savings the Postal Service obtains by closing the post office; and
  • The area served by the post office must have adequate access to wired broadband Internet service.

Last year, the United States Postal Service put forward a list of 41 Oregon post offices marked for closure. Twenty-one were subsequently removed from that list leaving 20 in danger. Under the Merkley-McCaskill amendment, 11 post offices will be immediately removed from the closure list with strict conditions required to consider closure of the remaining nine.

The amendment was passed by voice vote. The Senate is expected to pass the full reform bill this week and send it to the House of Representatives for consideration.




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April 26, 2012 6:24 pm (Pacific time)

I am the anon who posted earlier..the senator is a corporate whore..taking credit for something he had no control over. Which means, that this senator is in bed with the corporations, and the media..Watch for this senator to go up the ranks big time..Its how it works.

Editor: Well I have known this man for many years, since he was in Salem, and there is nothing about him that sets me off, if Jeff is bad, we're in trouble because he's about the most solid member we have in the Senate.  


Anonymous April 26, 2012 7:52 am (Pacific time)

After my previous post, my next stop was zerohedge.com...and lo and behold, I found this: (which means the senator really had little to do with it..more dog and pony): Here it is: A week ago, when reading between the lines of what had heretofore been considered an inevitable USPS episode of austerity in which hundreds of thousands of labor union workers would lose their jobs but in the process would streamline a thoroughly outdated and inefficient US Postal Office bureaucracy, we asked if a US Postal Service bailout was imminent, focusing on the following: "Enter Ron Bloom, Lazard, and the very same crew that ended up getting a taxpayer funded bailout for GM. From the WSJ: "The Postal Service's proposal to close thousands of post offices and cut back on the number of days that mail is delivered "won't work" and would accelerate the agency's decline, according to the six-page report by Ron Bloom, President Barack Obama's former auto czar, and investment bank Lazard Ltd., LAZ who were hired by the union in October." That's right: after all the huffing and puffing about "sacrifice" and austerity, the labor union took one long look at the only option... and asked what other option is there." The other option, it turns out courtesy of news from AP, is the first of many incremental bail outs of the US Postal Office, better known in pre-election circles as hundreds of thousands of unionized votes up for the taking, and which could be bought for the low low price of $11 billion in taxpayer money, or $110,000 per vote! And so the latest bailout of yet another terminally inefficient and outdated government entity begins. Its pre-election year, we can worry about hyperinflation after November. Buying votes with tax payer money...Dear Lord. Ron Paul 2012


Anonymous April 26, 2012 7:38 am (Pacific time)

I agree with Amanda except for one thing I cant quite figure out. The post office is a private business, that makes its money from selling stamps. Ok, so I have a business, another business comes along (the internet/UPS in this case), and the profits go down, thus having to make cutbacks. Simple terms: My work hours get cut back, I cant afford both cars, so I need to sell one, but then the government comes in and says I cant sell the car. How am I going to pay for the second car then? Get my point here? I feel another too big to fail bailout coming our way. I support the rural post offices, just giving info from a different angle. Wondering how long we can live off the printing press before massive hyperinflation. My opinion is, not much longer. Or, they will raise the price of stamps, which confirms my thoughts on inflation. Words by obama and bernanke that the economy is getting better is the biggest snow job of the decade. Mark my words. And with gas at 4 bucks a gallon (gas was 1.66 a gallon when obama got elected, look it up) the effects will make things much worse.


Amanda Black April 25, 2012 10:19 pm (Pacific time)

Thank you, Senator, for helping small communites to survive. We need the jobs and the Postal Service

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