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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 Joe RahallWe shouldn't allow politics to impede disaster relief Break the cycle of partisanship with infant, child health care programs Clinton mulls role in 2018 midterms MORE (D-W.Va.), Gene GreenRaymond (Gene) Eugene GreenDems demand answers from Trump admin about family planning program Lawmakers say they're close to deal on CHIP funding Congress should stand for rural America by enhancing broadband connectivity MORE (D-Texas), Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.) and Peter WelchPeter Francis WelchClinton mulls role in 2018 midterms Trump talks tough but little action seen on drug prices Frustrated with Trump, Dems introduce drug pricing bill MORE (D-Vt.) and Sens. Max BaucusMax Sieben Baucus2020 Dems pose a big dilemma for Schumer Steady American leadership is key to success with China and Korea Orrin Hatch, ‘a tough old bird,’ got a lot done in the Senate MORE (D-Mont.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsMcConnell: 'Whoever gets to 60 wins' on immigration GOP senators turning Trump immigration framework into legislation Longtime Clinton confidant blames Comey for 2016 loss MORE (R-Maine), Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyCoalition of 44 groups calls for passage of drug pricing bill A pro-science approach to Yucca Mountain appropriations Senate Dems: Trump making negotiations 'impossible' MORE (D-Vt.) and Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillGovernment watchdog finds safety gaps in assisted living homes GOP Senate candidate fundraising lags behind Dems in key races McCaskill challenger links human trafficking to 'sexual revolution' of 1960s 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 CarperOvernight Regulation: EPA sued over water rule delay | House passes bill to ease ObamaCare calorie rule | Regulators talk bitcoin | Patient groups oppose FDA 'right to try' bill Dem senator questions EPA on stark decline in grant awards Green group backs Sens. Baldwin, Nelson for reelection 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.