Postal Service Closures May be on Hold

By Stephanie Parkinson

April 26, 2012 Updated Apr 26, 2012 at 5:27 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - A major plan to reduce spending by the United States Postal Service could be put on hold.

The U.S. Senate passed legislation Wednesday that would stop them from closing hundreds of processing facilities and thousands of post offices. The measure still needs the stamp of approval from the House.

As a part of the plan by the postal service to reduce spending the South Bend mail processing facility is on the chopping block. It's set to shut down May 15. If that center closes, all the mail from that region would then come through Fort Wayne's processing facility.

The legislation passed by the Senate brings in some road blocks for the USPS plan. If it passes the USPS will be required to do a study on all the processing facilities and post offices before shutting them down. Those studies will also need to first look at the option of downsizing instead of closing.

In a statement issued by the USPS they said,

"We are disappointed that the Senate's bill would not enable the Postal Service to return to financial viability."

The closures are a major part of the USPS's plan to reduce spending and they want to see Congress support that.

But this Senate bill also allows the postmaster general to access money the USPS overpaid into its employees retirement system and use that money to offer buyouts. That would reduce their workforce by 100,000 over the next several years.

The bill would also allow the postal service to offer non-postal services to help it compete better with the private sector. But that just doesn't seem to be enough because the USPS is not supporting this legislation as it is now.

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