Tom Carper, U.S. Senator for Delaware

If the U.S. House of Representatives fails to pass a bill to reform the U.S. Postal Service by May 15th, the Postal Service could move forward with closing over 1,000 post offices and mail distribution centers across the country. Although the Postal Reform Act of 2011 was passed out of the relevant House committee in October 2011, leaders in the House of Representatives have yet to schedule a vote on the bill. The Senate, however, passed a bipartisan postal reform bill, the 21st Century Postal Service Act, on April 25, 2012.

If the House fails to act by the May 15th deadline, it could accelerate an already deteriorating financial situation at the U.S. Postal Service that would threaten a mailing industry that employs 8.5 million people and generates $1 trillion in economic activity each year. Simply put, we can't let that happen. The House must act.

Postal Service Facilities that Could Begin Closing on May 15th

View Postal Facilities to Begin Closing on May 15th in a full screen map

What They're Saying

Major News Outlets Across the Country Agree: The Clock is Ticking on House Action on Reforming the Postal Service

New York Times (5/1): “Despite Senate approval of a bill to help the debt-ridden Postal Service, thousands of post offices across the country still face closings beginning in two weeks if the House has not completed work on its version of the legislation. The Senate passed a bill to overhaul the Postal Service last week. But legislation has yet to come up for a vote in the House, and lawmakers there do not appear to be in a hurry to proceed despite a May 15 deadline set by the Postal Service before it begins closing post offices.” LINK

New York Times (4/26): “[The Senate] passed legislation that would overhaul the financially ailing Postal Service, voting weeks before the agency plans to begin closing thousands of post offices and consolidating hundreds of processing centers to cut costs … [A] spokesman for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Postal Service, said the committee had not set a time to begin working on the bill.” LINK

Wall Street Journal (4/25): “The Senate approved a bill that would avert closings of post offices and distribution centers for two years and continue Saturday mail delivery … But a congressional rescue of the 237-year-old service remains in doubt as another bill languishes in the House … If Congress doesn't act, the Postal Service has warned, it would embark on its cost-savings plan, one that could see as many as 3,700 post offices and 223 distribution centers closed and overnight first-class mail delivery stopped in many rural areas of the country.” LINK

Washington Post (5/1): “Despite months of preparation and last week’s passage of the Senate bill, House Republican leaders and the legislation’s primary co-sponsors have been mum on when or if the House will vote on a Republican-backed bill or take up the Senate proposal.” LINK

CNN (4/25): “In an unusual showing of bipartisanship, the Senate voted 62-37 to throw a lifeline to the indebted Postal Service. Without help, the Postal Service would otherwise cut Saturday service, delay mail delivery and close hundreds of postal processing plants and post offices, triggering thousands of job cuts nationwide … The House has yet to take up a different bill to reform the Postal Service … Congress faces a deadline of May 15, when a moratorium on postal closures expires.” LINK

Reuters (5/4): “A bipartisan group of lawmakers is trying to drum up support in the House of Representatives to vote on a Senate-passed bill that would make it tougher for the Postal Service to close some facilities … The new push comes as the Postal Service intends on May 15 to lift its months-long moratorium on postal closings … House leaders have not scheduled a vote on postal legislation, and a bill from Republican Darrell Issa that passed his Oversight Committee more than six months ago is significantly different from the Senate version.” LINK

ABC News (4/25): “The Senate voted today to approve the Postal Reform Act, sending a bill to the House of Representatives … The Postmaster General last year agreed to delay until May 15 obligatory closings of an anticipated 3,600 post offices nationwide, in order to give Congress the opportunity to help with legislation … With that deadline less than a month away, the changes Congress make will change the face of the U.S. Postal Service and will directly affect how you get your mail and how much you pay to send it.” LINK

Politico (5/1): “Democratic and Republican lawmakers who guided the postal reform bill through the Senate last week are calling on House leaders to “act promptly” to pass their legislation so the two bills can be reconciled before a looming May 15 deadline. That’s when the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service is set to begin closing potentially thousands of rural post offices and other retail sites and hundreds of processing centers.” LINK

Roll Call (5/1): “A bipartisan group of four Senators is hoping to pressure House Republicans to pass U.S. Postal Service reform legislation before May 15 when a moratorium on closing postal facilities expires … Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe agreed not to close any facilities until May 15 as Congress worked out postal reform legislation. The Senate passed a measure before the recess that would allow for the orderly closure of postal facilities and slowly scale back service, as well as reduce the Postal Service workforce. But the House has yet to move a companion measure.” LINK

The Hill (5/1): “Donahoe and postal officials agreed late last year to not close any facilities until at least May 15, at the request of lawmakers who wanted some space to negotiate a postal reform bill. But while the Senate has passed its legislation, the House has yet to schedule floor time for its Republican-sponsored measure … The four sponsors of that measure have also pressed the House to move forward with its own legislation so the two chambers can move forward with a conference … Donahoe has urged lawmakers to finish their work by the end of the month and said that taking the best parts of each chamber’s bill would solidify the service’s finances.” LINK

Bloomberg (5/3): “[T]he Senate bill passed last week to reform the U.S. Postal Service is … facing attack from all sides. The ambush -- led by House Republicans, postal-worker unions and the service itself -- seems overly aggressive: The bill is Congress’s first earnest attempt to stop the impending meltdown of the Postal Service, which loses $25 million a day and says it might have to close thousands of post offices and hundreds of distribution centers in the next few months … Give the Senate credit for setting things in motion.” LINK

The News Journal, Wilmington, Del. (4/27): “[T]he Senate passed a forward-looking bill that could rescue the mail system from disaster. However, the disaster hasn’t been averted yet. The action now moves to the U.S. House of Representatives, which has its own bill. Unfortunately, the Postal Service itself is under a May 15 deadline. That’s the expiration date for a moratorium on closing postal facilities … The Postal Service loses $25 million a day while this difference between the House and the Senate goes on. The May 15 deadline is real and will create problems.” LINK

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