Senate Move May Have Saved Post Office
By Leon Worden/SCVNEWS.com
The Bakersfield postal processing facility is closing and its mail-sorting activity is shifting to Santa Clarita.
Or is it?
The U.S. Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would give the faltering U.S. Postal Service an $11 billion cash infusion. The legislation calls for an immediate suspension of USPS plans to close 252 mail processing centers and 3,700 post offices – including the Bakersfield plant, which closure was decided in February.
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Mail-sorting operations previously performed in Bakersfield were set to join the workload at the Santa Clarita facility on Franklin Parkway at Castaic Junction.
Wednesday’s 62-37 Senate action – which still needs approval in the House of Representatives – apparently would stop that shift.
In addition to the immediate moratorium on facility closures, the Senate bill would save 125 of the processing centers that the USPS wants to close, for at least three years.
Senators said the $11 billion in cash would come from overpayments previously made by the USPS to a federal retirement fund.
Passage in the House is by no means a certainty.
USPS officials said the Senate bill falls short of what is needed to stanch the flow of money.
“Today the Postal Service incurs a daily loss of $25 million and has a debt of more than $13 billion,” U.S. Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe said in a statement. “Based on our initial analysis of the legislation passed (Wednesday), losses would continue in both the short and long term. If this bill were to become law, the Postal Service would be back before the Congress within a few years requesting additional legislative reform.”