Oregon rep., sen. blast ‘shortsighted’ postal closings

"I find it stunning he is moving forward with a shortsighted proposal that fails to address serious long-term financial issues facing USPS and will ultimately lead to the end of the Postal Service and universal postal delivery in this country," DeFazio said of Donahoe's announcement.

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DeFazio said he would continue to push for passage of two bills that are meant to relieve the USPS of its current requirement to pre-fund its employee retirement plan, which he and other Democrats said is why the USPS is strapped for cash.

DeFazio's bill, the Postal Service Protection Act, would let the USPS recover overpayments made to its employee retirement system and eliminate the $5 billion pre-funding of benefits.

The bill also prevents the closure of rural post offices by giving the Postal Regulatory Commission binding authority to consider factors other than profit when deciding whether to close an office, such as the effect on employees and the local community.

The bill would require the USPS to maintain strict delivery standards and six-day delivery, which would make it harder for the USPS to close offices.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) also criticized the announcement, and said closing processing facilities in four Oregon cities would add to processing delays and threaten the operation of the state's mail-in voter system.

"These closures will make it unclear how long it will take mail ballots to travel from central and eastern Oregon and the Willamette Valley to the Portland area for processing and then back to the appropriate local election officials," Wyden said.

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