The Postal Service is postponing branch closings, but cuts still loom.
NEW YORK (MainStreet) - Hundreds of post offices got a stay of execution this week as the cash-strapped Postal Service agreed to put off any planned closings until mid-May.
The Postal Service has faced multibillion-dollar budget deficits for the past few years and planned massive cuts to get itself back in the black. Plans included the closing of 3,700 post offices and 252 mail-processing facilities, with the latter resulting in the termination of next-day first class mail delivery.
The reprieve came about thanks to a request by 15 senators - all Democrats - who gave various rationales for opposing the cuts. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) noted that 1,800 Illinois residents would be put out of work by the closures, while Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) argued that post offices served as the center of rural Alaskan communities.
While these are all legitimate objections, the moratorium certainly has the feel of kicking the can down the road. Several of the senators alluded to the need for "long-term solutions" and Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said that he wanted to give Congress "time to get the U.S. Postal Service's financial house in order and make needed, reasonable reforms."
Postal Service Delays Closings Until May - TheStreet