Issa slams USPS for consolidation pause

House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) called out the U.S. Postal Service on Monday for pausing their plan to consolidate mail processing centers.

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Issa said that it’s especially galling that USPS is delaying the consolidation at the same time it’s implementing a 3-cent increase in stamp prices. The agency’s regulator allowed USPS to temporarily increase prices to help the service stem losses related to the country’s fiscal crisis.

"This week, the Postal Service's unprecedented above-inflation rate hike goes into effect," Issa said in a statement.  

"At the same time, the Postal Service just recently disclosed that it once again has decided to delay necessary cost-cutting reforms already in motion to appease the avowed opponents of postal reform. Relying solely on rate increases will not save the Postal Service from insolvency."

A Postal Service spokesman did not respond to a request for comment on the pause in the consolidation of mail processing centers, which was scheduled to start next month. Postal unions – who have repeatedly clashed with Issa over postal reform proposals – had complained about the initiative, which was part of a plan that slows delivery times and ends overnight delivery for many letters.

Postal officials announced in 2012 that the agency would consolidate more than 200 processing centers in several different phases, a plan they said would save more than $2 billion a year when fully implemented.

The agency lost $5 billion in fiscal 2013, after racking up a record $15.9 billion in red ink the year before.