WASHINGTON, D.C. ― U.S. Sen. Tom Udall has joined over 80 members of Congress in signing a letter calling for provisions that improve and protect mail delivery and service to be added to the comprehensive U.S. Postal Service reform legislation that has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In many New Mexico communities, especially in rural areas, the post office is a meeting place and an anchor on Main Street. Udall has heard from many New Mexicans who have expressed concerns about rollbacks in postal service.
In their letter to U.S. House and Senate leaders, Udall and his fellow lawmakers emphasized the need for better, more reliable mail service and solutions that can maintain higher service standards in the long term. The changes would address recent reductions in U.S Postal Service performance, such as the elimination of the overnight service standard, mail processing plant closures and post office hour reductions.
“While the importance of reliable mail delivery for customers, especially those living in rural areas, has not changed, the Postal Service’s ability to perform that service has substantially declined, and it is critical that Congress take action on this topic when we consider comprehensive postal reform,” the lawmakers wrote. “While the current service standard for First-Class Mail is 2-3 days, the actual delivery of mail can take far longer than this standard. This is unacceptable for postal customers in rural America and across the country, and it simply does not meet the requirement for universal quality of service by which the Postal Service is bound.”
Udall added: “The U.S. Postal Service is an integral part of life in New Mexico’s rural communities. And people in rural areas should be able to rely on timely, quality service, especially those in New Mexico without access to cell phone service or high-speed internet. I am committed to working on reforms that will ensure the long-term stability of the Postal Service, while providing essential, quality service to every part of New Mexico.”
The letter requests that the following provisions be included in the U.S. House of Representatives’ bipartisan Postal Reform Act of 2016 in order to strengthen mail service, improve delivery, and protect Postal Service customers:
- Continuing to review the fiscal state of the Postal Service to help it remain solvent – Provide regular updates of a long-term solvency plan that would analyze the Postal Service’s finances and make recommendations regarding affordable service options.
- Making mail service and delivery more reliable – The Postal Service needs a performance target system to make sure measurements of mail delivery are accurate across the country in urban and rural communities through an in-depth classification system.
- Improving accountability and transparency at the Postal Service – Performance information must be published online and operational plans developed when mail service and delivery targets are not met.
- Boosting enforcement to make sure the Postal Service meets mail delivery and service standards – The Postal Service must take action to meet its operational plans and not be able to lower mail service standards to come into compliance with performance targets.
The full text of the letter from the U.S. Senators can be found here, and the full text of the letter from the U.S. House of Representatives can be found here.