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Our Congressman replies

By Chris Gibson
October 2, 2013

Dear Staff and Publisher of The River Reporter,

In response to your open letter dated September 25, 2013, I wanted to reach out and assure you and your readers that I oppose the consolidation of the Newburgh Mail Processing Facility by the United States Postal Service (USPS) and I continue to work in a bipartisan manner with my colleague Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney to convince the USPS to reverse this decision. Bringing to my attention the direct impact to your newspaper is important to my continued conveyance of the issues faced by my constituents to the USPS because of this facility’s closure.

Earlier this year, I joined with Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who represents Newburgh, in sending a letter to the Postmaster General requesting a review and reversal of this planned closure. In the meantime, I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to pursue meaningful postal reform in order to prevent future closings and review the financial and economic effects of, and any degradation of service standards caused by, past facility closures.

In regards to the USPS in general, this organization faces a severe budget shortfall. After benefiting from modest profits between FY2004 – FY2007, technology, antiquated practices and the poor economy has lead the USPS to have billions of dollars in deficits since FY2007. In fact, after it once again defaults on its $5.6 billion employee retiree health care pre-funding requirement on September 30, 2013, the USPS’s total default to the federal government will be brought to $16.7 billion.

Beyond postal operations, internal funding mechanisms have created inefficiencies in the Postal Service’s fiscal governance. This includes the overpayment into its employee health benefits system by approximately $6 billion. In addition, decreasing revenues and increasing operating costs during these difficult economic times have further exacerbated the problems and led to the current budget deficits and projected bankruptcy of the entire United States Postal Service in the coming years.