The U.S. Postal Service’s plan to close 252 mail processing centers and 3,700 local post offices has been delayed until May 15.
A statement released by the financially unstable Postal Service announced it was delaying the closings to give Congress more time to pass legislation which would provide more authority and liquidity to avoid bankruptcy. The Postal Service was expected to default Friday on a $5.5 billion payment to the Treasury and anticipated to lose a record $14.1 billion next year.
In addition to delayed closings, the agreement also makes cuts to first-class mail which would slow delivery and eliminate the chance of stamped letters arriving the next day. This would be the first time for this to happen in 40 years.
Post offices in Ithaca, Colon, Morse Bluff and Prague have been put on the list of potential closures. They are among 90 post offices and processing centers in Nebraska on the list. U.S. Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska and other senators have been working with the U.S. Postal Service to ensure that decisions on closings are delayed.
"Closing post offices before we try to fix the system is putting the cart before the horse, so today’s decision to delay any closings until next May is good news,” Senator Nelson said in a press release to The Christian Post.
“With 90 rural post offices targeted for closure in Nebraska, we have to remember that the USPS was created to provide a public service,” he said in the release.
Senator Nelson told The Christian Post that rural Nebraskans relied heavily on the postal service to communicate with their family and friends.
“Rural post offices, the services they provide, and the people who provide them, have great value to communities across Nebraska. Congress needs to work with the Postal Service to fix the problems before deciding to reduce services to people who need them,” he said
Last Thursday, Nelson and 19 U.S. senators led by Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent, signed a letter to congressional leaders asking them to halt closings for six months.