Smith introduces bill to cap rural post office closures

Third District Congressman Adrian Smith has introduced a bill that would ensure rural mail service is not inappropriately targeted by capping rural closures and consolidations at 5 percent of total closures and consolidations in any given year.

Smith says the post office is the center of the community, especially in rural areas. Smith says the bill is a "commonsense solution which would help the Postal Service uphold its mission to serve all Americans while it addresses its long-term fiscal challenges."

In 2011, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) announced it was considering the closure or consolidation of over 3,600 postal facilities, 90 of which were located in Nebraska. Smith says closing all of these post offices would have saved the Postal Service about 4 percent of of the Postal Service's $5 billion shortfall in 2011.

In addition to closure caps for rural facilities, the Securing Access to Rural Postal Services Act would set guidelines for closing or consolidating any post office to ensure those affected by such changes would maintain access to the Postal Service through preferred options identified in a survey of affected customers.

Congressman Mike McIntyre, a Democrat from North Carolina, is a co-sponsor of the bill.

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