Most post offices targeted for closure are in GOP districts

A large majority of post offices that have been targeted for closure are in Republican districts.

More than 2,500 of these post offices are in GOP districts, while about 1,000 are in districts represented by Democrats, according to a review by The Hill. There were fewer than 100 stores where the district could not be determined because the zip code is represented by lawmakers in both parties.

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The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has stressed that politics played no role in determining which sites to shutter, noting that it adhered to a strict methodology for choosing them. USPS used a computer program to select the offices on a range of factors, including revenue and workload.

The closures would save about $200 million annually for the ailing USPS, which has urged the end of its Saturday service.

Even though the closures would affect more Republican districts, a larger number of Democrats have spoken out against the USPS’s proposal.


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Members who have balked include Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Nick RahallNick RahallLikely W.Va. Senate GOP rivals spar in radio appearances West Virginia is no longer Clinton country Solution needed: Rail congestion is stifling economic growth MORE (D-W.Va.), Gene GreenRaymond (Gene) Eugene GreenSeven Texas lawmakers leaving Congress means a younger, more diverse delegation Texas Dem rep announces plans to retire Five things to know about GOP's gun-suppressor bill MORE (D-Texas), Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.) and Peter WelchPeter Francis WelchTrump talks tough but little action seen on drug prices Frustrated with Trump, Dems introduce drug pricing bill Lawmakers try again on miners’ pension bill MORE (D-Vt.) and Sens. Max BaucusMax Sieben BaucusBooker tries to find the right lane  Top Lobbyists 2017: Hired Guns GOP tries to keep spotlight on taxes amid Mueller charges MORE (D-Mont.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Health Care: 3.6M signed up for ObamaCare in first month | Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' next year | Dems push for more money to fight opioids Study: ObamaCare bills backed by Collins would lower premiums Right scrambles GOP budget strategy MORE (R-Maine), Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyAvalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign America isn't ready to let Sessions off his leash Your tax dollars fund Afghan child rape MORE (D-Vt.) and Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillDemocrats turn on Al Franken Trump rips Dems a day ahead of key White House meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Mo.).

Most of these members represent rural states and districts. However, Green has claimed that urban and minority areas are being singled out.

Eight states have more than 100 post office stores under review. Illinois ranks first, with 176 locations, followed by Texas (172), Missouri (157), Arkansas (137) and Kansas (132).

At a recent press conference, Postmaster General Patrick Donahue emphasized the fairness of the process: “There are no decisions around politics or any of that stuff.”

Mounting financial pressures have led the USPS to make these moves, as more people are conducting business and paying their bills online.

The USPS announced on Friday that it ended the third quarter of the fiscal year with a net loss of $3.1 billion.

Many of the targeted offices will be replaced by Village Post Offices — retail outlets offering postal products that will be operated by third parties rather than USPS. Most, but not all, of the USPS targeted sites would be replaced by Village Post Offices.

“Our infrastructure was built to handle more demand than we have today,” said Dean Granholm, vice president of delivery and post office operations.

It will take four to six months for the post offices to transform/close. Postal experts note that Congress and postal unions could seek to block the closures.

Richard Geddes, an associate professor of policy analysis and management at Cornel University, said, “The Postal Service overall has done a good job figuring out how to decrease costs. A lot of these rural postal offices are simply losing money.”

He added: "The problem isn't post office managers, it's Congress that does not give the Postal Service the commercial flexibility it needs." Geddes supports discontinuing Saturday service.

There are a handful of bills pending in Congress that call for a revamp of the USPS. Donahue has endorsed legislation proposed by Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperAvalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign Overnight Cybersecurity: Mueller probe cost .7M in early months | Senate confirms Homeland Security nominee | Consumer agency limits data collection | Arrest in Andromeda botnet investigation Senate panel moves forward with bill to roll back Dodd-Frank MORE (D-Del.).

In a recent press release, Carper said, "The Postal Service cannot win this fight alone, Congress and the Administration need to work together quickly to give the Postal Service the freedom it needs to save itself before it's too late."

Carper is chairman of a Senate subcommittee with jurisdiction of the USPS.

Margaret Rawson and Jake Interrante contributed to this report.