December 7, 2011
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Representative David Price (NC-04) released the following statement today as the United States Postal Service announced that the downtown Raleigh Post Office will remain open. Earlier this year, Rep. Price aided efforts by local officials to keep the Century Station Post Office open, writing a letter to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe.

"I'm very pleased to see the downtown Raleigh post office will stay open," Rep. Price said. "The Century Station Post Office has been essential to life in downtown Raleigh for 134 years, and I expect it to remain so for many more."

The news comes a day after the Postal Service, which has already recommended eliminating six-day delivery, announced plans to end overnight delivery of first class mail and released a list of facilities it will close across the country, including many in North Carolina communities, eliminating 120,000 jobs by 2015. Two Fayetteville mail processing centers, which employ over 400 people, are slated for closure under the plan. On Monday, Rep. Price weighed in with another letter to Postmaster Donahoe opposing the closing of the Fayetteville facilities. Today, Price also added his name to a letter being circulated by Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) expressing opposition to the restructuring plan.

"I believe the Postal Service can and must be reformed. Congress should work with the Postal Service, considering all the options to keep the agency solvent amid declines in mail traffic while continuing its independence from taxpayer funding. Until we act, however, drastic measures that will cost thousands of jobs in our communities should be avoided."

Rep. Price is a cosponsor of H.R. 1351, the United States Postal Services Pension Obligation Recalculation and Restoration Act of 2011, which would provide immediate relief to pension obligations imposed on USPS by a 2006 law. Under the law, the Postal Service is required to pre-pay $5.5 billion a year (until 2016) into a fund for future retiree health care costs. The bill would also reimburse the Postal Service for overpayments it made into the Federal Employee Retirement System for employees who earned federal government retirement benefits while the service was still a government agency. Under the bill, the reimbursement amount would be determined by an Office of Personnel Management study.

"No other government agency is held to such a prepayment requirement. By imposing this onerous mandate, Congress has legislated the Postal Service into a position where it is in danger of default and put thousands of jobs at risk, including many in North Carolina. We should fix this problem before we talk about closing facilities and firing workers.

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