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 GreenTexas New Members 2019 Two Democrats become first Texas Latinas to serve in Congress Latina Leaders to Watch 2018 MORE (D-Texas), Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.) and Peter WelchPeter Francis WelchDemocrats see John Bolton as potential star witness Democrats plow ahead as Trump seeks to hobble impeachment effort Democrats claim new momentum from intelligence watchdog testimony MORE (D-Vt.) and Sens. Max BaucusMax Sieben BaucusBottom line Overnight Defense: McCain honored in Capitol ceremony | Mattis extends border deployment | Trump to embark on four-country trip after midterms Congress gives McCain the highest honor MORE (D-Mont.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Energy: Perry to step down as Energy secretary | Future of big-game hunting council up in the air | Dems lose vote against EPA power plant rule Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Pence says Turkey agrees to ceasefire | Senators vow to move forward with Turkey sanctions | Mulvaney walks back comments tying Ukraine aid to 2016 probe On The Money: Senate fails to override Trump veto over border emergency | Trump resort to host G-7 next year | Senators to push Turkey sanctions despite ceasefire | McConnell tees up funding votes MORE (R-Maine), Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyDemocrats dig in ahead of Supreme Court ruling on 'Dreamers' McConnell tees up government funding votes amid stalemate Rand Paul calls for probe of Democrats over Ukraine letter MORE (D-Vt.) and Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillIranian attacks expose vulnerability of campaign email accounts Ex-CIA chief worries campaigns falling short on cybersecurity Ocasio-Cortez blasts NYT editor for suggesting Tlaib, Omar aren't representative of Midwest 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 CarperInstead of raising the gas tax, stop wasting money on frivolous projects To stave off a recession, let's pass a transportation infrastructure bill Overnight Energy: Trump tweets he's revoking California's tailpipe waiver | Move comes as Trump visits state | California prepares for court fight | Climate activist Greta Thunberg urges lawmakers to listen to scientists 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.