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 WelchSanders: 'I'm only grumpy most of the time' Hillicon Valley: Hacker group targeted electric grid | House Democrats press CBP over facial recognition program | Senators offer bill to protect health data | Groups file FCC complaint over carriers' use of location data Lawmakers grapple with deepfake threat at hearing MORE (D-Vt.) and Sens. Max BaucusMax Sieben BaucusOvernight 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 Judge boots Green Party from Montana ballot in boost to Tester MORE (D-Mont.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsRepublicans make U-turn on health care Children urge Congress to renew funds for diabetes research Justice Democrats issues 3 new endorsements for progressive candidates MORE (R-Maine), Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyDem senators demand GOP judicial group discloses donors Senate Democrats skipping Pence's border trip Democrats want investigation into cost, legality of Trump's July Fourth event MORE (D-Vt.) and Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillTrump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand Feds allow campaigns to accept discounted cybersecurity services GOP frets over nightmare scenario for Senate primaries 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 CarperTrump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand Overnight Energy: EPA expands use of pesticide it considers 'highly toxic' to bees | House passes defense bill with measure targeting 'forever chemicals' | Five things to watch as Barry barrels through the Gulf House passes bill to crack down on toxic 'forever chemicals' 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.