Dems seek answers on rural postal delivery

Two Democratic senators want a federal watchdog to examine whether there's a link between access to broadband and poor service from the U.S. Postal Service.

Sens. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillElection Countdown: GOP worries House majority endangered by top of ticket | Dems make history in Tuesday's primaries | Parties fight for Puerto Rican vote in Florida | GOP lawmakers plan 'Freedom Tour' FBI investigated cyberattacks targeting Dem opponent to Rohrabacher: report Progressives fume as Dems meet with Brett Kavanaugh MORE (Mo.) and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampKavanaugh has 'productive' meeting with key swing votes Election Countdown: GOP worries House majority endangered by top of ticket | Dems make history in Tuesday's primaries | Parties fight for Puerto Rican vote in Florida | GOP lawmakers plan 'Freedom Tour' The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (N.D.), both strong supporters of strong rural postal service, said that rural residents had a greater need for efficient mail delivery – in large part because they have less access to broadband.

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"Without efficient service from USPS, rural Americans are put at a significant economic and personal disadvantage," McCaskill and Heitkamp wrote to the Government Accountability Office.

Democratic senators like McCaskill and Heitkamp have been especially critical of Postal Service policies that have reduced hours at post offices, and elongated delivery times. 

"The planning and execution of the USPS' restructuring have raised some troubling questions and had a disproportionate impact on the nation's rural communities," McCaskill and Heitkamp said.

The Postal Service has lost billions of dollars in recent years, but also seen its finances stabilize – due in large part to the rise in online shopping. McCaskill and Heitkamp, joined by other Senate Democrats, have introduced legislation to protect rural postal delivery.