June 20, 2013
The U.S. Postal Service will close three post offices on the House side of Capitol Hill, the agency has announced.
The post offices -- located in the Rayburn and Cannon office buildings, as well as the Capitol building -- were first identified for closures for “extremely low usage” in 2011. USPS issued the three Final Determination to Close notices Wednesday, estimating the closures would save about $2 million over 10 years.
House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and House Administration Chairman Rep. Candice Miller praised the decision, saying it sets a good precedent for the cash-strapped agency.
“Congress should lead by example and not treat itself to a higher level of service than it needs or is available to the average American,” the chairmen said in a joint statement. “The cost savings from these consolidations are a small but symbolically important step in restoring USPS to long-term financial solvency.”
Issa and Miller wrote a letter to USPS in April asking the Postal Service to move forward with the plan.
“The bottom line is that employees and members of the House of Representatives enjoy a level of postal service well in excess of that received by most of their fellow Americans,” they wrote. “Congress should not treat itself to such privilege at the expense of the ratepayer.”
The three post offices were originally scheduled to close as part of a much larger effort to reduce USPS’ retail presence in order to reduce costs. After facing blowback from Congress and other stakeholders, however, the Postal Service backed down from the larger plan, opting instead to keep low-performing offices nationwide open with reduced hours.
Post offices in the Ford and Longworth buildings will remain open.
(Image via Flickr user NCinDC)
June 20, 2013