Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) won another victory in the battle against privatizing mail delivery as the Postal Service has quietly backed off of a plan to close 82 mail processing plants.
In a statement, Sen. Sanders said:
I am pleased that the Postal Service has decided not to shut down virtually all of the 82 mail-processing plants this year, but much more needs to be done to ensure that Americans throughout the country receive their mail in a timely manner.
The Postal Service should be speeding up the delivery of mail, not slowing it down. We should be working to strengthen the Postal Service, not sending it into a death spiral.
The Postal Service had planned to close eighty-two more mail processing plants as part of a cost-cutting move. The USPS is being forced to cut costs because a Republican imposed mandate that the Service pre-fund 75 years of retirement benefits within a decade. The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA) plunged the profitable USPS into debt and forced four out of every five dollars taken in to be spent on funding this mandate.
The Republican passed mandate was designed to drive the Postal Service out of business. The GOP goal has always been to privatize all mail delivery. The mandate is forcing the USPS to make decisions that hurt customers and result in slower mail delivery as part of the larger Republican plan to use government to break a public service that benefits the public good.
Sen. Sanders has been fighting to not only keep the Postal Service alive, but to expand the services offered by the USPS. The Republican privatization scheme would result in more expensive, but less frequent mail delivery. Rural areas that depend on their local post offices would be gravely harmed by privatization.
Bernie Sanders is fighting for the programs and services that benefit ordinary Americans, and that battling spirit has resulted in a win for the American people.